U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Urgent Nationwide Alfalfa Sprout Recall – Raw Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in 10 States
Salmonella identified in raw alfalfa sprouts, linked to 22 illnesses in 10 states, prompted an 18 state recall Caldwell Fresh Foods sprouts on Friday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday recalled products have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in consumers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
Six of the illnesses required hospitalization, including one infant in Oregon state. The sprouts were distributed to a variety of restaurants, delicatessens, and retailers, including Trader Joe’s and WalMart stores.
“All consumers and restaurant/delicatessen operators should immediately stop using Caldwell Fresh Foods raw alfalfa sprouts,” the agency stated in a release yesterday. “FDA reminds consumers that children, the elderly, pregnant women and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts).”
FDA is investigating the outbreak in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, and public health agencies in other affected states. FDA, with the California Department of Public Health, is inspecting the firm’s facility and collecting samples. Caldwell Fresh Foods is cooperating in the investigation and has recalled all of its alfalfa sprouts from commerce.
The recall affects raw alfalfa sprouts packaged and labeled as: Caldwell Fresh Foods alfalfa sprouts – 4-ounce plastic cups and one pound plastic bags and in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic bags in cardboard boxes with sticker affixed with the printed words “Caldwell Fresh Foods”; Nature’s Choice alfalfa sprouts – 4-ounce plastic cups; California Exotics brands alfalfa sprouts – 5-ounce plastic clamshell containers.
According to federal public health officials, no other alfalfa sprouts are implicated in the outbreak.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), a longtime advocate for more
stringent food safety laws, chimed in over the weekend on the outbreak by urging the Senate to act on pending food safety legislation.
“The American people continue to be at risk from dangerous outbreaks
such as this while critical food safety reform legislation, which
includes provisions that would be helpful in addressing a widespread
outbreak through preventive controls and interventions, remains stalled
in the Senate,” said DeLauro in a statement emailed to reporters
Saturday. “As these alfalfa sprouts were sold in a number of retail
outlets, it will be difficult for consumers to know if their purchases
are safe. I urge the Senate to act quickly before more people become
victims of contaminated food and our faulty food safety system– the
longer the food safety bill is delayed, the more vulnerable our food
safety system remains.”
More information for consumers about avoiding the risks associated with eating sprouts is available at http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/fruits/sprouts.html