Categorized | Health

Raw alfalfa spouts linked to salmonella contamination



The state Department of Health has recommended consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until further notice because the product has been linked to Salmonella serotype Saintpaul contamination. 

Other types of sprouts have not been implicated at this time. This follows the recommendation issued by the U.S Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Although there have been no confirmed salmonella cases attributable to alfalfa sprouts in Hawaii, the DOH Food and Drug Branch will be pulling samples from local alfalfa sprout growers for testing. There are local sprout growers on every island in Hawaii. 

“While there are no salmonella cases in our state stemming from alfalfa sprouts, we are taking a proactive and precautionary approach and will be sampling product from local growers even  though they do already disinfect seeds prior to growing,” said Lynn Nakasone, program manager for the DOH Environmental Health Administration. 

The DOH recommends people at high risk for complications, such as the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems, not eat raw sprouts because of the risk of contamination with Salmonella or other bacteria.  

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. 

Healthy individuals infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, 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 meningitis and bone infections. 

The FDA Web site contains detailed information on reducing microbial safety hazards for sprouted seeds.

— Find out more:

Food and Drug Administration:…  

Big Island Sanitation Office: 933-0917

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