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Another Salmonella Sprout Recall

Jul 9, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Salmonella worries have prompted yet another recall of alfalfa sprouts.  According to a notice posted on the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Website, Mike’s Produce, Inc. dba Kowalke Family Sprouts is voluntarily recalling the alfalfa products after receiving notification that a surveillance sample taken at a retail location with a June 21 sell-by date tested positive for Salmonella.

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. Healthy 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.

Salmonella outbreaks from raw alfalfa sprouts are not uncommon.  In May, for instance, the FDA warned that it was tracking a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella St. Paul that had been linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts  Cases related to that outbreak had been reported in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia, the FDA said. Most of those who became ill reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts. Some reported eating raw sprouts at restaurants; others reported purchasing the raw sprouts at the retail level.   That outbreak appeared to be an extension of an earlier outbreak in 2009, the FDA said. In February and March, an outbreak of Salmonella St. Paul occurred in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. That outbreak resulted in alfalfa sprout recalls by several firms.

No illnesses have been connected to the Kowalke Family Sprouts recall.  The recall involves all Kowalke Family Sprouts Brand Alfalfa Products with sell-by dates from June 18 through June 30.  are sold in 4 oz, 8 oz, 1 pound and 5 pound clear plastic, clam shell packages.   Two other Kowalke products also contain alfalfa sprouts - the Dinner Salad in a 6 oz package and the Onion/Alfalfa Mix in a 4 oz package.

These products were sold to produce distributors in Los Angeles and to retail stores in Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona.  It is possible the sprouts may have been transported to other states.

Consumers who purchased these products should immediately discard them or return them to the point of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact Mike’s Produce, Inc. dba Kowalke Family Sprouts at (310) 636-1924 from 8am to 2pm PST.

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