I’m doing my best to find any reference to a recall of the seeds implicated by the FDA and CDC in the recent Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak, which is now responsible for at least 228 illnesses in 13 states.  I can’t find any action by Caudill Seed taken to actually recall the product.  I’m not talking about a

In a recent CanWest News story, Joe Schwarcz asks “what are you more worried about eating, beef from a hamburger joint or a sandwich made with alfalfa sprouts at your local health food emporium?”
Scientifically, this is a “no contest.” I know what you’re thinking. Eat beef and risk mad cow disease. Or, eat beef and risk E. coli 0157:H7. After all, didn’t 120 or so people die in England from mad cow disease? And what about the four children who died from eating tainted hamburgers in the famous “Jack In The Box” episode in 1993? Yes, both of these are awful numbers. But the chance of any individual being affected is extremely low. In England, two million infected cows ended up in the food stream and that resulted in about 10 deaths a year. In Canada we are talking about one cow that never ended up in the food system. As far as the Jack In The Box episode goes, the meat wasn’t properly cooked. That’s it. Cooking hamburger to an internal temperature of about 70 degrees Celsius eliminates the risk of bacterial contamination.
Now let’s turn to those sprouts that adorn many a salad and sandwich in places that feature so-called health foods. The largest recorded case of E. coli 0157:H7 infection in history had nothing to do with meat. It had to do with radish sprouts. In 1996 in Japan 6,000 people became sick and 17 died from eating raw radish sprouts. Can you imagine the publicity this would have garnered if meat had been involved? And it doesn’t only happen in Japan. In the US since 1995, 15 outbreaks of Salmonella infection and two of E. coli 0157:H7 have been associated with sprouts.Continue Reading The Right Chemistry: Mad cows and sprouts