June 6, 1999
Salad Cosmo Recalls Clover Sprouts - 18 Cases of
Salmonellosis Linked to Contaminated Product
Dixon, CA (SafetyAlerts) - The California
Department of Health Services (DHS) has warned consumers not to eat Salad Cosmo brand
clover sprouts because the product may be contaminated with salmonella, a dangerous
bacteria. The clover sprouts have been linked to at least 18 cases of salmonellosis, a
food-borne illness, including 13 in Santa Clara, three in Santa Cruz, one in San Benito
and one in San Francisco counties. The clover sprouts are also contained in a "Sprout
Medley" produced by Salad Cosmo. The illnesses occurred between May 10 and May 30.
The manufacturer, Salad Cosmo of Dixon, California, has voluntarily recalled the clover
sprouts distributed to restaurants and grocery stores in northern California.
Consumers who purchased the recalled sprout
products should discard or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.
Clover and alfalfa sprouts have repeatedly been
linked to outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli 0157 infections. 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 cases resolve without
the need for medical attention.
People who have eaten sprouts and develop severe
symptoms should contact their doctor. Some individuals with salmonellosis develop serious
illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death.
Clover and alfalfa sprouts are of concern for
* Sprouts generally are eaten raw with no
additional treatment, such as cooking, which eliminates bacteria that can cause disease.
* Conditions required for sprout growing are ideal
for rapid bacterial growth.
* Consumers may be unknowingly exposed to sprouts
on sandwiches or salads purchased at restaurants and delicatessens.
Today's warning follows an advisory issued by DHS
in August for "high-risk" individuals to avoid eating raw clover and alfalfa
sprouts until methods are implemented to improve their safety. High-risk consumers include
the very young, the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems. DHS officials
today reiterated their warning that clover and alfalfa sprouts should not be served in day
care centers, school lunch programs, nursing homes, and hospitals.
CONTACT: Carla B. Agar
http://www.dhs.ca.gov or Lea Brooks