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Salmonella Tainted Sprouts Recalled by Arizona Hydroponic Farming

May 6, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP More alfalfa sprouts are being recalled because of potential Salmonella contamination.  According to the recall notice, sprouts distributed by Arizona Hydroponic Farming LLC have tested positive for Salmonella.

According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella St. Paul has been linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts.  Since March, more than two  dozen cases of Salmonella St. Paul have 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.

This outbreak appears 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.

Cases are still being reported, and possible cases are in various stages of laboratory testing, so illnesses may appear in other states. No deaths have been reported. The number of infected people may be higher than currently reported because some illnesses have not yet been confirmed with laboratory testing.

Several companies have recalled alfalfa sprouts and sprout products because of the outbreak.  Because the outbreak has been linked to multiple growers in several states, the FDA said the contamination may have originated with tainted seeds.  As we reported yesterday, Caudill Seed Company of Louisville, Kentucky, has recalled all seed batches with six-digit lot numbers starting with “032”.  The recalled seeds are packaged in 50-pound white bags marked with a white or yellow label with the distributor name, and were imported from Italy.

Arizona Hydroponic Farming is now recalling “4oz Alfalfa Sprout Cup” as a preventive measure because of a positive test result in California for  Salmonella. The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the USDA revealed the presence of Salmonella in some 4 ounce packages collected from a customer in California. The affected AZ Hydroponic Farming shipments are questionable since they were grown from the same batch of seeds as the sprouts sent to California.

The product in question was distributed throughout Arizona and to one customer in California. The product comes in a 4 ounce, clear plastic package labeled with either AZ Hydroponic Farming expiration date 4/18/2009 or with LA CALCO expiration date 4/23/2009. The packaging is a 4 x 4 x 4 inch cubed plastic container with a perforated bottom.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled alfalfa sprouts should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers with questions may contact the company at (520) 466-7287 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday, Pacific Daylight Time."

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