Monday, February 9, 2009

Salmonella Pops Up Again In Alfalfa Sprouts

February 9, 2009

For the second time in less than two months, a Wisconsin producer of alfalfa sprouts has been faced with recalling sprouts that were contaminated with Salmonella

Last December, Sunrise Farms was on the receiving end of the bad news. This time, it's the turn of Jack & the Green Sprouts, Inc. (River Falls, WI).

The River Falls company has recalled alfalfa sprouts and alfalfa onion sprout mix from retail stores and wholesalers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The sprouts were sold in 5-ounce clamshell packages prior to February 5, 2009. 

The contamination was detected by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture during routine testing. According to Jim Mahoney, the owner of Jack & the Green Sprouts, pre-shipment Salmonella testing of the sprouts was negative, and no Salmonella has been found in the production facility or in other sprout varieties. Mahoney told the River Falls Journal that the sprouts tested by Minnesota already had exceeded their recommended shelf life.

This latest recall is a reminder to regulators, producers and consumers alike that seed sprouts– even in the hands of reputable and conscientious producers – are susceptible to contamination by bacterial pathogens, including Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7.

Consumers who purchased one of the recalled sprout varieties prior to February 5, 2009 should discard any remaining sprouts, and submit a proof of purchase receipt to the retailer for credit or refund.

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