A food poisoning outbreak that has sickened at least 14 Nebraskans – and possibly as many as 28 – may have originated with alfalfa sprouts from CW Sprouts, a company based in Omaha. Five victims also have been identified in the neighboring state of Iowa, with another four cases under investigation.
Salmonella Saintpaul has been detected in specimens provided by 14 victims in Nebraska and five victims in Iowa. According to a preliminary report released last week by the Douglas County (Nebraska) Department of Health & Wellness, the genetic profile of the outbreak strain does not match any other strain in the national database – including the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak strain that wrecked havoc in last year's Mexican pepper outbreak.
Outbreak victims in Nebraska reported beginning to suffer symptoms of salmonellosis between February 2nd and February 23th. Three-quarters of the victims were women; most are between 20 and 40 years of age. Two victims were hospitalized and released. There have been no fatalities.
Although the investigation is ongoing, CW Sprouts has agreed to recall the alfalfa sprouts that have been implicated as the source of this outbreak. According to Associated Press, the sprouts were distributed to restaurants and grocery stores.