For any of you out there audacious enough to still consume raw sprouts (click here for a recent discussion of the problem), today’s announcement from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides yet another example of why eating raw sprouts is simply not worth the risk.  CDPH announced this afternoon that consumers should not eat certain Kowalke Organics alfalfa sprouts due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Mike’s Produce, Inc., doing business as Kowalke Family Sprouts of Culver City, is voluntarily recalling the following products with sell-by dates from June 18 to 30:

* Kowalke Organics Alfalfa Sprouts – 4 oz., 8 oz., 1 pound and 5 pound packages
* Kowalke Organics Dinner Salad – 6 oz. package
* Kowalke Organics Onion Mix – 4 oz. package

Kowalke Family Sprouts has initiated this voluntary recall after receiving notification that a surveillance sample tested positive for Salmonella. These products were distributed primarily to grocery stores in Southern California including Gelson’s and Whole Foods.

No illnesses have been reported from these products to date.  "Consumers, especially young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are susceptible to serious infection when exposed to Salmonella," Horton said.

"Today’s warning is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of foods sold in California."
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Consumers who have eaten this product and are experiencing the above symptoms should consult their health care provider.

CDPH continues to advise consumers about the risk of consuming raw sprouts. Sprouts have been linked to previous foodborne outbreaks. Conditions required for sprout growing are ideal for rapid bacterial growth. Additionally, green leaf sprouts, such as alfalfa sprouts, are usually eaten raw with no additional treatment, such as cooking to eliminate bacteria that can cause disease.

Consumers who wish to reduce their risk of foodborne illness may want to consider avoiding sprouts.

Consumers who purchased these products should immediately discard them or return them to the point of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact Kowalke Family Sprouts at (310) 636-1924.