FDA, CDC investigating Salmonella outbreak linked to sprouts

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their state and local partners are investigating a three-state outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections.

To date, the outbreak has sickened fifteen people in Nebraska (8), South Dakota (6), and Oklahoma (1), according to information provided by the CDC. Two people have been hospitalized.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has reported sixteen illnesses among individuals who consumed SunSprouts alfalfa sprouts between December 4–13. Eight of these have been confirmed genetically to be part of this outbreak. Results are pending on seven other cases.

Tracing the source

Epidemiological evidence collected by the CDC and its state partners identified alfalfa sprouts as a likely source of this outbreak.

Two outbreak victims specifically reported having purchased SunSprouts alfalfa sprouts at their local grocery stores. Others reported having consumed alfalfa sprouts at local restaurants.

A traceback investigation carried out by the FDA identified SunSprouts brand alfalfa sprouts grown by CW Sprouts Inc., doing business as (DBA) SunSprout Enterprises of Fremont, NE as the probable source of the outbreak.

The company has recalled four batches of alfalfa sprouts, identified as Lots ##4211, 5211, 3212, and 4212.

The recalled SunSprouts brand alfalfa sprouts were packaged in 4-ounce clamshells and 2.5 lb packages with best sold by dates between 12/10/2022 and 1/7/2023. The sprouts were supplied directly to restaurants and grocery stores in Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa.

Inspection history

According to the FDA’s Inspection Database, CW Sprouts, Inc. has been inspected on at least seven occasions since 2009. Although some of its earlier inspections were classified “Voluntary Action Indicated,” there are no posted citations listed for the past ten years.

The most recent FDA inspection was completed in August 2021.

What you need to know

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers

  • Do not eat, sell, or serve recalled SunSprouts brand alfalfa sprouts.
  • Check your refrigerators for recalled SunSprouts brand alfalfa sprouts with best by dates between 12/10/2022 and 1/7/2023, and discard these items.
  • If you purchased or used recalled alfalfa sprouts, use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products, to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
  • If you or someone in your household ate SunSprouts alfalfa sprouts and have symptoms of salmonellosis, contact your healthcare provider.

Suppliers and Distributors

  • Do not use, ship or sell recalled alfalfa sprouts grown by SunSprout Enterprises.
  • Do not use any comingled and potentially cross-contaminated product if there has been potential cross-contamination or mixing of recalled alfalfa sprouts with products from other sources, and use extra vigilance in cleaning any surfaces and storage areas that may have come into contact with recalled alfalfa sprouts.

TAINTED formats 3
“Reads like a true crime novel” – Food Safety News

Interested in learning more about food safety and the history of foodborne disease outbreaks and investigations? Click on the link to listen to a short excerpt, then follow the buy links to add a digital, print or audio copy to your personal library.

Chapter 6. Birth of a Pathogen

TAINTED is available in digital format from all major on-line retailers. Press the button to go directly to your preferred digital bookstore.