CDC – Investigation of
an Outbreak of 35 Salmonella Saintpaul Infections Linked to Raw Alfalfa
Sprouts in Michigan (17), Minnesota (4), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (6), South
Dakota (2), Utah (1) – Manufacturers, Suppliers, Restaurants, Grocery
of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
CDC is collaborating with
public health officials in many states and the United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of human
infections due to Salmonella serotype
Since mid-March, 35
persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul have been
reported from 7 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state
is as follows: Michigan (17), Minnesota (4), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (6),
South Dakota (2), Utah (1), and West Virginia (2). Cases are still being
reported, and possible cases are in various stages of laboratory testing,
so illnesses may be reported from other states. No deaths have been
State and local
authorities, CDC, and FDA have linked this outbreak to eating alfalfa
sprouts. Most of those who became ill reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts.
Some reported eating sprouts at restaurants; others purchased sprouts at
the retail level.
The initial investigation
has traced the contaminated raw alfalfa sprouts to multiple sprout growers
in multiple states. This suggests a problem with the seeds used, as well as
the possible failure of the sprout growers involved to appropriately and
consistently follow the FDA Sprout Guidance issued in 1999 http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/sprougd1.html.
The guidance recommends an effective seed disinfection treatment
immediately before the start of sprouting (such as treating seeds in a
20,000 parts per million calcium hypochlorite solution with agitation for
15 minutes) and regularly testing the water used for every batch of sprouts
for Salmonella and E coli O157:H7.
outbreak appears to be an extension of an earlier outbreak in 2009. In
February and March, an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul infections occurred
in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. This outbreak
was linked to raw alfalfa sprouts produced at a single facility, and the
outbreak strain was indistinguishable from that of the more recently
reported cases. CDC
is also currently working with public health officials in several states
and FDA to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections
linked with eating alfalfa sprouts.
Most persons infected
with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours
after infection. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool
sample. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Although most people recover
without treatment, severe infections may occur. Infants, elderly persons,
and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to
develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella may spread
from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can
cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
* Do not eat raw
alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until
further notice. This warning is only for alfalfa sprouts, not other types
of sprouts .
Persons who think they may have become ill from eating raw alfalfa sprouts
are advised to consult their health care providers.
REMINDER for high
risk populations: CDC and FDA recommend at all times that persons at high
risk for complications from Salmonella infection, such as the elderly,
young children, and those with compromised immune systems, not eat raw
sprouts. For such persons who continue to eat sprouts, FDA recommends
cooking them (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2002 consumer advisory,
available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/tpsprout.html).