Recall Alert: Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that company Sweetwater Farms LLC, Inman, Kansas is voluntarily recalling alfalfa sprouts due to possible contamination with the strains of Salmonella Muenchen.

Alfalfa Sprouts, salmonella

Photo courtesy of Julia Frost via Flickr

The FDA, CDC, state and local officials are currently investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen illnesses linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms LLC. The CDC reports that thirteen people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Muenchen in four US states: Kansas (5), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (3), and Pennsylvania (2). Five people have been hospitalized. Reported illness onset dates range from December 1, 2015 through January 21, 2016.

Collaborative investigation indicates that sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms LLC are the likely source of this outbreak. Irrigation water and alfalfa sprout samples collected by the FDA from Sweetwater Farms LLC tested positive for Salmonella.  Testing to identify the specific strain of Salmonella is ongoing.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other people. Children younger than five, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons in the United States die each year with acute salmonellosis. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind.

See more details about this recall alert.

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