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Food Safety News

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Sprouts Recalled Over Salmonella Fears

Living Foods Inc. of Ionia, Michigan, initiated a voluntary market withdrawal of alfalfa sprouts yesterday in response to a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak investigation being conducted by the Michigan departments of Community Health and Agriculture.

According to a Michigan Department of Agriculture press release, 12 cases of salmonella in Michigan between August 17 and September 18, 2009, have been associated with this outbreak strain (see previous story, Salmonella Sprout Outbreak in Michigan).

The sprouts were distributed to retail and food service facilities through wholesale produce suppliers in Michigan under the Living Foods label with a sell by date of October 22 or earlier.  Products being recalled include:  alfalfa sprouts, 5 lb. box; 1 lb. bag; 4 oz. bag; 4 oz. cup; spicy sprouts, 4 oz. cup; 7 sprout, 4 oz. cup; alfalfa/onion, 4 oz. cup; and alfalfa/garlic, 4 oz. cups.

If consumers have any sprouts in their possession, they should be discarded.  Wholesalers and retailers should remove the sprouts from sale and cease distribution.

© Food Safety News
  • Jay Louie

    Based on reliable information, the grower involved follows the FDA Guidelines in the production of sprouts. However, the seeds used to grow sprouts was from a supplier who has been involved on other outbreaks. However, I have questionable doubts as to the validity of the epidemiological findings. Did they jump to a conclusion to blame a usual suspect? If they did suspect alfalfa sprouts, they should have been able to narrow down the suspected grower relatively quickly. But instead, MDCH issued an outright advisory to avoid the consumption of all alfalfa sprouts. Not alfalfa sprouts from a particular supplier, but from all suppliers to Michigan. You have 12 individual allegedly sick from consuming alfalfa sprouts. How hard would it be to find out the source of the alfalfa sprouts. This raises suspicion on the credibility of the epidemilogist. The actual source of the outbreak could be another product that people are still consuming.
    Epidemilogical study is not an exact science. As you may recall, an advisory was once issued against tomato, another usual suspect for food safety issues. As it turned out several weeks later, it was not the tomato, but green peppers. Unfortunately, the tomato industry lost millions due to a statistical miscalculation.