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U.S. follows Canada with recall of Now Real Food seed snacks

A snack mix sold under the Now Real Food brand that was recalled in Canada a few days ago is now being recalled in the United States because clover seeds in the product are implicated in Salmonella outbreak investigations.

In a recall notice for Now Real Food brand Zesty Sprouting Mix that was posted Thursday on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, officials referenced multistate outbreaks linked to clover seeds, but did not provide any specific details. 

The seed mix was sold nationwide at retailers and online in the United States and Canada. As of Thursday night, the recalled product was still available on a number of websites that self identify as selling health foods, natural foods, and dietary supplements. Now Health Group Inc. describes the recalled product as having crimson clover seeds as its primary ingredient.  

“Evidence of potential contamination was implicated in ongoing FDA and CDC investigations into multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections, of which the clover seed supplier was notified,” according to the Now Health Group recall notice.

Neither FDA nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could respond immediately to questions Thursday night about the outbreaks mentioned in the recall. 

Consumers in Canada and the United States can identify the recalled seed snack mix, which is packaged in 16-ounce plastic bags, by looking for the following label codes: UPC number 733739072719; and either lot number 3031259 or lot number 3038165.

Now Health Group Inc., based in Bloomingdale, IL, posted the recall on its U.S. website, but not on its Canadian website. A link on the company’s Canadian site redirects to the U.S. recall notice. The same product, with the same product codes, is under recall in both countries.

Public health officials in Washington state reinforced the recall notice Thursday with their own public alert. The state’s Department of Health urged local public health officials to be proactive to help make sure consumers are aware of the situation.

“Due to the uncertainty of this product being involved in a multistate outbreak, and Salmonella (infection) being a very serious illness, we are recommending local health jurisdictions contact affected retailers to verify they have been notified of the recall, confirm they have removed the product from sale, and ask how they are informing customers of the recall,” according to a Thursday announcement from the Washington Department of Health.

The Washington alert and the company’s recall notice said the recalled seed snacks had been sold online and at retailers since December 2017.

Advice to consumers
Consumers should check their homes for unused portions of the recalled Zesty Sprouting Mix, according to the Now Health Group recall notice. No one should eat any of the recalled seed snacks. The product should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled seed mix and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen. Specific tests are required to diagnose Salmonella infection, which can be mistaken for other illnesses.

Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria may not look or smell spoiled. Tiny amounts of the microscopic organism are enough to make people sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing serious and sometimes deadly infections, according to public health officials. 

Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. People with serious infections can develop complications including sepsis. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

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