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April 21, 2000

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pacific Coast Sprout Farms Brand Raw Mung Bean Sprouts

Sacramento, CA (SafetyAlerts) - California State Health Director Diana Bontá today warned consumers not to eat Pacific Coast Sprout Farms brand raw mung bean sprouts purchased before April 18 because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria that causes human illness. Forty-five cases of Salmonella Enteritidis, a foodborne illness, have been confirmed in Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties.

The California Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Sacramento and Placer county health departments have linked this outbreak to mung bean sprout consumption. The illnesses have occurred since March 26 and include 38 cases in Sacramento County, four in Placer County and three in Yolo County.

While most of the patients suffered diarrhea and cramping, two immunocompromised patients were hospitalized with bloodstream infections.

The manufacturer, located in Sacramento, has voluntarily recalled the bean sprouts, which were distributed to restaurants and grocery stores in Northern California and Reno area in 12 ounce and 16 ounce plastic bags and in bulk.

Bontá advised consumers who purchased raw bean sprouts with the label "Pacific Coast Sprout Farms" or raw mung bean sprouts from this manufacturer sold in bulk from supermarkets in Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties prior to April 18 to discard or return them to the place of purchase.

This is the first reported outbreak of salmonellosis associated with raw mung bean sprouts in the United States. Previous outbreaks have been associated with raw alfalfa and clover sprouts.

Salmonellosis is an acute bacterial infection commonly characterized by diarrhea and fever. Symptoms usually develop within one to four days after eating contaminated food. Most ill individuals recover without the need for medical attention.

Some individuals with salmonellosis develop serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. People who have eaten sprouts and develop symptoms should contact their doctor.

Consumers with questions about the recall may phone Pacific Coast Sprout Farms at 916/381-6054.

Notice of this product warning was sent via email to SafeMail subscribers April 21, 2000.

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

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During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
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