The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a final update Tuesday on the 2014 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to bean sprouts which killed two people and hospitalized five (four from Illinois and one from Michigan). The agency declared the investigation over and noted that, as of Nov. 7, 2014, Wholesome Soy Products Inc. of Chicago, IL, has closed its facility and ceased production and distribution of sprouts. “Sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy Products Inc. are likely no longer available for purchase or consumption given the 5-day shelf life reported by the facility,” the update stated. Wholesome Soy Products recalled mung bean sprouts last Aug. 28 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isolated Listeria bacteria from samples during a routine inspection. Subsequent FDA inspections in August and October 2014 found unsanitary conditions at the company’s facility. Whole genome sequences of the Listeria strains isolated from Whole Soy Products’ mung bean sprouts and environmental isolates collected at the firm’s production facility were found to be highly related to sequences of Listeria strains isolated from the five people who became ill between June and August 2014, CDC noted. “Although limited information is available about the specific sprout products that ill people consumed, the whole genome sequencing findings, together with the sprout consumption history of two patients and inspection findings at the firm, suggest that these illnesses could be related to products from Wholesome Soy Products, Inc.,” CDC’s report stated. The agency recommends that consumers, restaurants and other retailers always follow food safety practices to avoid possible illness from contaminated sprouts. Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind, CDC stated. These include alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts. CDC advises people to reduce the risk of illness from potentially contaminated sprouts by cooking them thoroughly.