Two days after the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to eat Tiny Greens sprouts because they might be contaminated with Salmonella, the Urbana, IL. grower agreed to recall some of its product.
The recall announcement Wednesday said, “the mutual goal of both the FDA and Tiny Greens is to pinpoint the source of the contamination and stop the spread of Salmonella. To this end, Tiny Greens has decided that it is better to risk its reputation than to risk getting anyone sick. There is only a statistical association at this point to Tiny Greens alfalfa sprouts …”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 94 people in 16 states and the District of Columbia share the same outbreak strain of Salmonella, and the CDC and FDA say the investigation indicates a link to eating Tiny Greens brand alfalfa sprouts at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich restaurant outlets in Illinois.
Jimmy John’s removed the alfalfa sprouts from menus at its Illinois franchise restaurants a week ago.
In the recall announcement, Tiny Greens Organic Farm said its sprouts were shipped to various distributors in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri “and could have ended up in restaurants and supermarkets near those areas.”
According to the CDC, 51 people have been confirmed with the outbreak strain in Illinois, 17 in Missouri and nine in Indiana. Because this particular Salmonella serotype occurs commonly in the U.S., not all the cases in more distant states may be linked to the same source.
The recall involves 4 oz. Spicy Sprouts and 4 oz., 1 lb., 2 lb., & 5 lb. Alfalfa Sprouts (all package sizes) with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of Dec. 29, 2010, Dec. 31, 2010, or Jan. 1, 2011, as well as products containing Tiny Greens alfalfa sprouts with lot numbers 305 thru 348 or “sell by” dates from Dec. 16, 2010 thru Dec. 29, 2010.
The FDA and Tiny Greens and the Illinois Department of Public Health continue their investigation as to what caused the problem, the sprouts company said.
Tiny Greens said consumers who have any of the product can return it for full credit or destroy it by placing it in a plastic bag or other closed container before discarding it. Consumers can call 1-800-352-8526 for more information from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.