Alfalfa Sprouts have a long history of being the source of food poisoning outbreaks. This is mostly because they are often consumed raw (not cooked), are harvested in warm and humid conditions (the perfect playground for bacteria), are grown close to the ground, and most importantly, they are difficult to clean before consumption.
Now, once again, Alfalfa Sprouts are being recalled to prevent another wide-spread outbreak. The Sun Sprout Alfalfa Sprouts, packaged in a factory in Fremont, Nebraska, have been voluntarily recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination. Customers in Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa have been affected, as at least 15 have reported becoming ill after consuming these Alfalfa Sprouts.
The sprouts were distributed to consumers between late November and early December of 2022. They are packaged in “a 4-ounce clear, plastic clamshell container and 2.5-pound packages” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The best buy dates to be on the recalled product are 12/10/2022-12/27/2022, and the lot codes are 4211 and 5211 (see below for additional information). According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA): “No other SunSprout lot codes or products are impacted by this voluntary recall.”
If consumers believe they have purchased a product that fits this description, they are strongly advised to discard it, promptly clean any potentially affected counters or the refrigerator in which it was stored, and vigilantly wash hands with warm, soapy water. Even if the sprouts are, ultimately, cooked, there remains a risk of cross-contamination of Salmonella to other foods or surfaces they have come into contact with.
Consumers who, after coming into contact with this product, begin to experience symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, are encouraged to see their primary care physician or present to an urgent care facility to be evaluated and to provide a stool culture.
Recall Expanded to New Lots and Expanded Use By Dates as Concerns Grow:
After the initial recall was put into action, the recall was further expanded to include lot codes 3212 and 4212, and the best buy dates being 12/10/2022-1/07/2023, according to America Today.
According to one national food safety lawyer: “When coming into contact with contaminated products, it is especially important to follow important food-handling precautions and to sanitize all surfaces, and discard foods, the contaminated product has come into contact with. When seeking medical attention, it is also important to request s stool test to confirm that your illness is related to this outbreak.”