Americans are being told by the FDA not to consume "Evergreen Produce" alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts because they may be contaminated withSalmonella Enteritidis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stresses that it is not the same pathogen as the one involved in the current outbreak in Europe.
The Agency says that it has received 20 reports of probable salmonellosis -Salmonellainfection - in Washington State, North Dakota, New Jersey, Montana and Idaho. One of the patients has been admitted to hospital. It is very uncommon for this strain ofSalmonellato affect so many people.
The alfalfa and spicy sprouts are distributed by Evergreen International Inc, 2404 South Wolcott Ave, Chicago, Illinois. The produce is sold in plastic bags labeled"Evergreen Produce"or"Evergreen Produce Inc."They are packaged, in pre-printed labels, in 4-ounce and 16-ounce plastic bags, as well as 1lb and 5lbs plastic bags with stick-on labels.
According to the FDA, the products have been distributed in Washington State, Montana and Idaho. However, it advices people in neighboring states to check labels for the Evergreen Produce brand (alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts only).
The FDA says it has launched an investigation along with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as local public health agencies. It is important that any products still on the market be taken off shelves.
Sprouts and foodborne illnesses - Susceptible individuals
Over the last 15 years in the USA there have been over 30 cases of reported outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to various kinds of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. The majority of infections were caused bySalmonellaandE. coli.
The FDA says that the following vulnerable groups of people need to be especially careful: elderly individuals, pregnant mothers, young children, and those with weakened immune systems. They should avoid consuming any type of raw sprouts, including clover, radish, mung bean, and alfalfa sprouts.
The sprouts are safe to eat if cooked thoroughly.
What is salmonellosis?
Salmonellosismeans salmonella infection. It is a bacterial disease of the intestinal tract.Salmonellais a type of bacteria group that causesgastroenteritis, entericfever,typhoidfever, and other illnesses. Humans can become infected by touching/drinking tainted water, and some contaminated raw foods.
There are over 2,300 serotypes of bacteria in theSalmonellafamily. Over half of all human infections in America are caused bySalmonella enteritidisandSalmonella typhimurium. SomeSalmonellastrains that live in animals can make humans sick, and vice-versa.
Signs and symptoms ofsalmonellosis- of the thousands ofSalmonellatypes, only about 12 make people ill. Some can cause typhoid fever, a potentially serious and even fatal disease, especially in developing nations. Gastroenteritis caused bySalmonellainfection can have the following signs and symptoms:
The FDA says symptoms appear between 12 and 72 hours after infection. In the majority of cases people recover within four to seven days without treatment. Hospitalization may be required if the patient has severe diarrhea, or if the infection gets into the bloodstream and infects other parts of the body. When the infection spreads to other parts of the body the individual needs emergencyantibiotictreatment.
Seniors, very young children and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop complications, which can be life-threatening.
If you have consumed the above-mentioned products and think you may have become ill, call your doctor.
Written by Christian Nordqvist Copyright: Medical News Today