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FDA and Oregon Human Resources
February 14, 1999


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.


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.