Alfalfa sprouts recalled because of salmonella poisoning were sold to more than 400 Wal-Mart stores in 15 states
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Update: Salmonella Outbreaks in U.S., Australia Highlight Risks of Sprouts
Recent salmonella food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. and Australia have once again focused attention on the danger of sprouts. In South Australia, at least 223 people have fallen ill with Salmonella Saintpaul infections after eating mung bean sprouts. In the U.S., a salmonella outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts has sickened 13 people in four states, hospitalizing five of them.
Sprouts are a common source of food poisoning that have been linked to more than 40 outbreaks over the past two decades, according to federal health authorities. The warm, humid environments in which sprouts grow are also ideal for growing bacteria. To prevent contamination, growers use safeguards to prevent bacteria from entering the growing area such as treating seeds, testing irrigation water and taking corrective actions if any samples are positive. Still, contaminated sprouts often find their way to market.
What’s the problem?
This week, raw alfalfa sprouts sold by Caldwell Fresh Foods were recalled due to salmonella poisoning. The sprouts were sold to Wal-Marts in Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon and Wisconsin.
According to the CDC, the alfalfa sprouts appear to have sickened at least 22 people in 10 states, including a baby in Oregon. Eleven of those sickened were in California. The sprouts were sold in at least seven other stores in California, including Trader Joe's. Caldwell, based in Maywood, Calif., said in a release that the sprouts were sold at restaurants, delicatessens and retailers nationwide.
In addition to those who were sickened in California, two were sickened in Nevada and two in Wisconsin. Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Colorado each had one person become ill, the CDC said. The illnesses began between March 1 and May 2 and six people were hospitalized.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Caren Epstein said sprouts were removed from the produce departments of the affected stores as soon as the retail chain was made aware of the recall. She said 75 Wal-Marts in Illinois, 56 Wal-Marts in Georgia and 47 Wal-Marts in Louisiana purchased the sprouts. The rest of the stores were spread through the remaining 12 states.
This is the second large multi-state outbreak in fresh produce announced this month. Twenty-six people were sickened by an outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Seven additional cases are suspected, the CDC said.
Do I have an Alfalfa Sprouts Recall Lawsuit?
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in alfalfa sprouts recall lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new food poisoning cases in all 50 states.