fenugreekseeds-sprouts_406x250Five Kansas residents and three Oklahomans were stricken with Salmonella illnesses earlier this year that are now being blamed on sprouts. The two-state Salmonella outbreak is believed to have originated with sprouts grown at Sweetwater Farms in Inman, KS, according to the findings of an investigation involving the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Oklahoma Department of Health. The last onset of illness date was Jan. 21 in a Kansas man. Since then, the three Oklahoma cases were matched to the outbreak strain. Sweetwater Farms was inspected and samples collected of irrigation water and product have tested positive for Salmonella bacteria although the strain has not yet been identified. Sweetwater Farms has decided to voluntarily recall sprouts in lot 042016. Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends that people not consume any sprout product from Sweetwater Farms at this time. Salmonella is responsible for one million food borne illnesses a year in the United States. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Kansas health officials saychildren, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind due to their potential to harbor harmful bacteria. Cooking sprouts kills any such bacteria.   (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)