Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Healthy Food Blog: Sprouts Recall

In a nutshell: There have been few recalls since the Peanut Corporation of America peanut recall. Here is one limited to the Heartland.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 3, 2009 — SunSprout Enterprises, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, is initiating a voluntary recall of Alfalfa Sprouts, Onion Sprouts, and Gourmet Sprouts  based on communications it has had with Nebraska State officials regarding several cases of Salmonella St. Paul reported in Nebraska and Iowa.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.  Health persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be 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 and arthritis.

The sprouts were distributed to food distributors located in Iowa and Nebraska who further sell the product to restaurants and retail stores.  Distribution was also made directly to one retail store in Nebraska.

The sprouts are sold refrigerated under the SunSprouts label in 4-oz. clear plastic clamshell containers that have the following “Best If Sold By” dates in the upper right-hand corner on each container, which may be expressed in two different styles:  30209 or MAR 02 2009, 30409 or MAR 04 2009, 30709 or MAR 07 2009, 30909 or MAR 09 2009, 31109 or MAR 11 2009, and 31409 or MAR 14 2009.  The lot numbers, which are printed only on the shipping case, include:  3102, 3202, 3302, 4102, 4202, and 4302. 

The bar code for the retail packages of Alfalfa Sprouts is 815098001088;  the bar code for the Onion Sprouts is 815098002054; and the bar code for the Gourmet Sprouts is 817180000153.  The Alfalfa Sprouts are also packaged in bulk 2.5-lb. and 5-lb. cases for use in restaurants.  The Onion Sprouts and Gourmet Sprouts are not packaged in bulk form.

Although neither CW Sprouts nor the Nebraska state officials have any product laboratory test data linking the sprouts to the illnesses or to the microorganism, the recall is being conducted as a precautionary measure.   State officials continue to review all available data and information to determine whether sprouts are reliably implicated in the recent reported cases of Salmonella St. Paul. 

SunSprouts is working closely with the FDA and with public health authorities to get to the bottom of this situation.

If consumers have any of the sprouts in their possession, they should be discarded.  Any customers with questions may call 402-331-0803 between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CST for further information.

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