A total of 13 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Muenchen have been reported from four states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Kansas (5), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (3), and Pennsylvania (2).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 1, 2015 to January 21, 2016. Ill people range in age from 18 years to 73, with a median age of 51. Ninety-two percent of ill people are female. Among 13 ill people with available information, 5 reported being hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory officials indicate that alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms of Inman, Kansas are a likely source of this outbreak.
Laboratory testing isolated Salmonella from samples of irrigation water and alfalfa sprouts collected during a recent inspection at Sweetwater Farms. Further testing is ongoing to determine the type and DNA fingerprint of Salmonella isolated in these samples.
The information available to date indicates that alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms may be contaminated with Salmonella and are not safe to eat. On February 19, 2016, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a press release warning consumers not to eat these products. We recommend that consumers do not eat and restaurants and other retailers do not sell or serve alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms at this time.