Updated: Sprouts from Kent firm implicated in Salmonella outbreak

Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent, Washington is recalling its alfalfa sprout products (alfalfa sprouts, onion sprouts, and salad sprouts) because they may be linked to a recent outbreak of Salmonellosis in Oregon and Washington State.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, September 5, 2008 8:18pm
  • News

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing story with frequent online updates. This just in 5:15 p.m. Friday from the US Department of Agriculture

Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent, Washington is recalling its alfalfa sprout products (alfalfa sprouts, onion sprouts, and salad sprouts) because they may be linked to a recent outbreak of Salmonellosis in Oregon and Washington State. To date, 13 cases of Salmonella Typhimirium infection have been associated with the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts.

The recalled sprouts were distributed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska in retail stores and through wholesale produce suppliers.

The products are Sprouters Northwest brand and include all lot numbers with a best by date of 9/17/08 or earlier of: 5oz alfalfa sprout cups UPC – 033383701417, 4oz alfalfa clamshells UPC-815098001088, 1lb bags of alfalfa sprouts UPC – 079566123508, 2lb trays of alfalfa sprouts UPC – 079566123492, 5oz salad cups UPC – 033383702674, 4oz salad clamshells UPC – 815098002061, 5oz alfalfa onion sprout cups UPC – 033383701905, and 4oz onion sprout clamshells UPC – 815098002054.

Consumers who have purchased any of these items are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Wholesalers / retailers should remove the product from sale, cease distribution, and arrange for product return. Questions can be directed to the company at 253-872-0577.

Sprouters Northwest, Inc. is working closely with state officials and the Food and Drug Administration to determine the cause of this problem and what steps can be taken to combat it.

Salmonella Typhimiriumis an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which maybe bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e. infected aneurysms), endocarditis (swelling of the lining of the heart) and arthritis. Individuals who may have experienced any of the above symptoms after eating any of the recalled products should contact their health care provider.

Original story

State health officials say they believe alfalfa sprouts from a Kent-based firm are connected to an outbreak of Salmonella that’s sickened nine people in Washington and four in Oregon.

The outbreak has been tied to alfalfa sprouts from Sprouters Northwest, Inc. in Kent.

The company, according to DOH, has agreed to voluntarily recall the product and has stopped distributing it. The sprouts are sold in a variety of package sizes (www.doh.wa.gov/NewsRoom/ProductRecall.htm) labeled “Alfalfa Sprouts,” or as mixed varieties that contain alfalfa sprouts as an ingredient.

People should not eat any products from Sprouters Northwest that contain alfalfa sprouts, DOH officials say. Discard them immediately or return them to the store.

The first cases of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported in early August. People have been sickened in Clark, Island, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties. At least two have required hospitalization.

Salmonellosis is a common infection; there are usually about 600 to 800 cases reported each year in our state. It can cause diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Symptoms usually develop within one to five days after eating contaminated food. Most people usually get better on their own.

The recalled sprouts were distributed to grocery stores, and possibly other retail outlets in Washington and Oregon.

DOH is urging restaurants and delicatessens to check their stock immediately and pull any of the recalled products. Retailers and wholesalers that have any of the recalled sprouts should separate them from other produce and contact their supplier.

People who have eaten sprouts and have developed symptoms should contact their health-care provider. Salmonellosis can cause serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The risk is particularly high for the elderly, people with low immune systems, and the very young.

For more information about Salmonella, go to: www.doh.wa.gov/EHSPHL/factsheet/salmonel.htm.

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