There is plenty of information out there on (1) what sprout and seed companies should be doing to reduce or eliminate the risk that they sell contaminated food to customers, and (2) what sprout sellers should be doing now, in the context of the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak linked to sprouts/sprout seeds. With absolutely no effort at sarcasm, that is truly all well and good. But what about YOU? What should you do when you have eaten a contaminated product?
My guess is that the sprout sellers of the world aren’t reading this blog. If they are, and they’re doing it for ideas on how to improve the safety of their product, that’s a little scary. So this post is dedicated to the victims. First, from a medical standpoint, doctors and moms across the country stress the importance of staying hydrated. Second, it is important to have a doctor monitor your progress, or lack thereof. Symptoms like a high fever, reduced urine production, nose bleeds, etc., may not seem too alarming in a vacuum, but they can signify the onset of devastating conditions, among them hemolytic uremic syndrome and sepsis. Finally, it is always a good idea to encourage your doctor to run a stool test. Now your doctor may or may not think that this is warranted in your individual circumstances, but it is extremely important in certain medical situations, and it is critical in helping to stop the spread of disease if you’re involved in an outbreak. The truth of the matter is that any investigating health authorities in an outbreak will not have the benefit of knowing your involvement (and your individual circumstances may be quite important in the outbreak investigation) unless you have a stool sample that tests positive for the outbreak bacteria or virus. Important steps, all.