Another alfalafa sprout recall has been implemented over fears of Listeria contamination. Cleveland Beansprouts Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, is recalling all of its alfalfa sprouts over potential contamination with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, Listeria monocytogenes pathogen.
According to the recall notice, all Cleveland Beansprouts alfalfa sprouts are involved in the recall. There are no lot codes or any other identifier on the bean sprout products, which were distributed in Ohio.
The contamination was discovered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture during sample collection and testing under the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Microbiological Data Program.
The firm advises consumers who have purchased Cleveland Beansprouts alfalfa sprouts to discard them.
To date, no reports of illness related to this recall have been received, although it can take some time from ingestion of a tainted product for manifestation of illness to occur, especially with Listeria-contaminated products because the incubation period for this pathogen can be as long as 70 days.
Sprouts are a known source of food borne illness and, because sprouts are often eaten raw with no additional treatment, such as cooking, which eliminates bacteria, washing sprouts does not necessarily remove the bacteria that grows within the sprouts and cannot be washed away. Over the past 15 years, at least 30 outbreaks of food poisoning have been linked to eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts, said the FDA.
The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is potentially fatal and can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected.
Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.