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Safety Alerts
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 several reasons:

* 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 or Lea Brooks
(916) 657-3064



The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.