Sprouts from Idaho Firm Linked to Illnesses

Sprouts from Idaho Firm Linked to Illnesses

Jun 27, 2011

Customers urged to discard sprouts from this source

OLYMPIA - June 27, 2011 -  A multi-state disease outbreak leads Washington health officials to warn people not to eat alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts labeled “Evergreen Produce” or “Evergreen Produce, Inc.”  The sprouts are linked to nine cases of Salmonella Enteritidis in Washington; cases have also been reported in Idaho, Montana and North Dakota.

The alfalfa sprouts are packaged in 4-ounce and 16-ounce plastic bags with the Idaho company’s pre-printed labels. They are also packaged in 1-pound and 5-pound plastic bags with stick-on labels. The spicy sprouts are packaged in 4-ounce plastic bags with pre-printed labels and 1-pound plastic bags with stick-on labels.

People shouldn’t eat any products containing alfalfa or spicy sprouts from Evergreen Produce — discard them immediately.

The Washington cases of Salmonella Enteritidis occurred in late May and early June among residents of Benton, Ferry, Grant, Spokane, Walla Walla and Whitman counties. Two individuals have required hospitalization.

Salmonellosis is a common infection; about 600 to 800 cases are usually reported each year in our state. It can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Symptoms usually develop within one to five days after eating contaminated food. Most infected people get better without treatment.

The sprouts were distributed to grocery stores and restaurants in Washington and other Northwest states. The Department of Health urges markets, restaurants, and delicatessens to check their stock immediately and pull all of these products. Retailers and wholesalers who have any of the identified sprouts should separate them from other produce and contact their supplier.

People who have eaten sprouts and become ill should contact their health care provider. Salmonellosis can cause serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The risk is particularly high for the elderly, people with low immune systems, and the very young.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more information on the sprout investigation.

More information on salmonellosis is on the Department of Health Web site.