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Sunrise Farms Sprouts Recalled for Salmonella Contamination

Dec 23, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

Sunrise Farms is recalling potentially salmonella-tainted alfalfa sprouts and sprout mixes, the Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has announced.  The Wisconsin station WCLO is reporting that the recall involves the company's four-ounce packages of alfalfa sprouts, spicy sprouts, crunchy sprouts, and onion sprouts sold by Sunrise Farms of Neenah, Wisconsin.

Sunrise Farms has notified its customers to remove the recalled sprout products from store shelves, said the Wisconsin AG Connection.  The recalled Sunrise Farms sprouts were sold at retailers and groceries in Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

Routine food safety tests conducted on the sprouts by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture turned up positive for salmonella, said the Wisconsin AG Connection.  The Capital Times reported that none of Sunrise Farms’ other sprout mixes are included in this recall and that, to date, there have not been any reports of illness according to the Health Department.  Consumers in possession of any of the recalled four-ounce packages of Sunrise Farms sprouts are advised to discard the product, recommended the DATCP; credits will be given with proof of purchase receipts to customers seeking refunds, said The Capital Times.

Salmonella is a bacterial food poisoning that causes swelling of the lining of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis) that is responsible for about 15% of all cases of food poisoning.  Salmonella is most serious in infants, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. In these individuals, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, resulting in death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.  In addition, people who have had part or all of their stomach or their spleens removed, or who have sickle cell anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, leukemia, lymphoma, malaria, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are extremely susceptible to salmonella food poisoning.  Salmonella also has potential long-term health consequences, with some victims developing a disease called Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat form of reactive arthritis that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.  Reiter’s Syndrome can plague its victims for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis.

Salmonella food poisoning can arise when someone drinks unpasteurized milk or eats undercooked chicken or eggs, or salad dressings or desserts containing raw eggs; however, any food can become contaminated during preparation if conditions and equipment for food preparation are unsanitary.  Symptoms generally appear about one-to-two days after infection and include fever (in 50% of patients), nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps and pain. The illness usually ends in about five-seven days.  Other infections that can be caused by salmonella include bone and joint infections, infection of the sac containing the heart, infection of the tissues which cover the brain and spinal cord, infection of the liver (hepatitis), and lung infections.

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