Alfalfa Sprout Recall Issued Over Salmonella Outbreak in 10 States

A nationwide salmonella poisoning outbreak that has sickened at least 22 people has resulted in recall of alfalfa sprouts sold at Wal-Mart, Trader Joes and other retailers nationwide.  

The alfalfa sprout recall was announced late last week by Caldwell Fresh Foods after the products were linked to salmonella contamination and illnesses in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Wisconsin.

According to an FDA statement about the recall, six people have been hospitalized with salmonella poisoning after eating alfalfa sprouts. Media reports indicate that one of them is an infant from Oregon who was eating raw alfalfa sprouts.

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The recall affects all Caldwell Fresh Foods alfalfa sprouts, which have been marketed under the Caldwell Fresh Foods, Nature’s Choice and California Exotics labels. It includes:

  • Caldwell Fresh Foods alfalfa sprouts sold in 4-ounce plastic cups, as well as 1-pound, 2-pound, and 5-pound plastic bags.
  • Nature’s Choice alfalfa sprouts sold in 4-ounce plastic cups.
  • California Exotics alfalfa sprouts sold in 5-ounce plastic clamshell containers.

The alfalfa sprouts were sold at a variety of retailers nationwide, including delicatessens and restaurants. Some retailers who sold the alfalfa sprouts include Wal-Mart, Trader Joe’s, Kings Super Market, and Numero Uno Stores.

The recall comes a little more than a year after an outbreak of Salmonella saintpaul led to a SunSprout alfalfa sprout recall. That outbreak is believed to have sickened about 150 people nationwide. The illnesses and an investigation by the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention (CDC) led to concerns by federal regulators that there were contaminated seeds being sold to growers nationwide, resulting in a health advisory.

The two outbreaks do not appear to be connected at this time. This recent salmonella food poisoning outbreak is linked to a different strain of salmonella.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, bloody diarrhea and fever, which usually begin to appear within 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food. The Salmonella Newport strain of bacteria associated with this recall is typically highly resistant to many medications and often results in a high rate of food poisoning hospitalizations.

Young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk from severe injuries, hospitalization and death due to food poisoning complications, but on rare occasions, healthy adults are also severely infected when salmonella spreads from the intestines to other parts of the body.

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