|FDA and Oregon
February 14, 1999
PROMPTS HYDRO HARVEST ALFALFA SPROUT RECALL
Portland - Public health official announced a
recall of Hydro Harvest brand alfalfa and mixed sprouts from retail outlets throughout
Oregon and Washington. "These alfalfa sprouts have been identified as the cause of an
ongoing outbreak of salmonellosis," said Dr. William E. Keene, epidemiologist at the
Oregon Health Division. "Consumers who have them in their refrigerators should
discard them immediately."
To date, 11 persons infected by Salmonella
serotype Mbandaka have been identified in Oregon. "The number of cases has increased
steadily over the past few days, however, and laboratory-confirmed cases are usually just
the tip of the iceberg," Keene said.
The contaminated sprouts were produced by Hydro
Harvest, Ltd., of Brush Prairie, Washington, and distributed through a number of
wholesalers to many grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail outlets in Oregon and
Washington. "Hydro Harvest has agreed to recall its alfalfa sprouts
voluntarily," Keene said. State and federal agencies are working with the producer to
remove potentially contaminated sprouts from distribution. While none of this product has
been reported in Alaska, some stores receive their produce from hub distributors in Oregon
and Washington. Retailers and wholesalers who hold any of the recalled sprouts should
segregate them from other produce and contact Hydro Harvest for additional information.
Restaurant and deli operators should check their stock immediately to identify and pull
any of the recalled product.
The recall covers all alfalfa sprouts produced by
Hydro Harvest since November 1998. These sprouts have been sold in 6-oz. plastic
"clamshell" packages labeled as "Living Alfalfa Sprouts," "Living
Salad Sprouts: Alfalfa/Radish/Clover," and "Living Onion-Alfalfa Sprouts."
All 6-oz. packages carry the Hydro Harvest name and are carried by many supermarkets and
other grocery stores, including Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Thriftway. The sprouts are also
sold in bulk as 1-lb trays or 2-lb plastic bags.
Salmonellosis is an acute bacterial infection that
can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. 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 developed severe symptoms should discuss this exposure
with their doctor. Some persons with salmonellosis develop serious illness that can lead
to hospitalization and even death.