Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wisconsin Producer Recalls Salmonella-Contaminated Sprouts

December 23, 2008

Sunrise Farms, Inc. (Neenah, WI) has recalled alfalfa sprouts and certain sprout mixes after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection detected Salmonella in a sample of the Company's alfalfa sprouts.

The recall includes 4-ounce packages of Sunrise Farms brand Alfalfa Sprouts, Spicy Sprouts, Crunchy Sprouts and Onion Sprouts. These items were sold in retail grocery stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Other varieties of Sunrise Farms sprouts are unaffected by the recall.

Sunrise is asking customers to discard any recalled sprouts that they may still have on hand, and to submit their purchase receipt for a credit.

Sporadic contamination of sprouts by Salmonella and E. coli is an ongoing problem in the industry, and one that can be difficult to avoid completely. According to information posted on its web site, Sunrise maintains a comprehensive food safety program, including: screening of batches of seeds for sprouting, a seed sanitation program, HACCP and Good Manufacturing Practices programs, and third-party audit, verification and testing. Nevertheless, Salmonella managed to find its way into a batch of sprouts.

Infections caused by Salmonella produce symptoms of gastroenteritis – diarrhea, stomach pains, a low-grade fever, and – less often – nausea and vomiting. Salmonella infections usually are self-limiting; however, young children and the elderly may suffer severe dehydration as a result of gastroenteritis, requiring fluid and electrolyte replacement. In rare cases, an infection with Salmonella will lead to the development of a chronic arthritis condition, such as Reiter's Syndrome (a form of arthritis). 

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