Eating sprouts leads to lawsuit

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Attorneys for a Bellevue man who said he became sick after eating contaminated alfalfa sprouts have filed a lawsuit against a local company and its Kentucky seed supplier that health officials linked to a multi-state salmonella outbreak.

Daniel Krim, 49, said he became ill after eating alfalfa sprouts on a turkey sandwich he purchased from a La Vista restaurant in late February. His flu-like symptoms worsened, forcing him to go to the emergency room at Midlands Hospital in Papillion.

Days later, his doctor confirmed he had been infected with the salmonella St. Paul strain, according to his lawsuit, filed last week in Sarpy County District Court.

Krim is suing CW Sprouts, Inc., whose SunSprouts products were linked to the outbreak in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and South Dakota. He also is suing Caudill Seed and Warehouse Co. of Louisville, Ky., the company that manufactured and sold alfalfa sprout seeds to CW Sprouts.

A spokesman for CW Sprouts, whose products were distributed to grocery stores and restaurants, declined to comment. He said he planned to release a statement at a later date. Calls to Caudill Seed were not immediately returned this morning.

In March, the Douglas County Health Department asked restaurants to take sprouts off the menu. Some grocery stores also pulled alfalfa sprouts from shelves.

Jere Ferrazzo, the Douglas County Health Department's food and drink supervisor, on Wednesday said that businesses are allowed to use and sell sprouts.

However, he said the Food and Drug Administration recommends that consumers not eat raw sprouts and that elderly people with weak immune systems cut out sprouts entirely.