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SafetyAlerts
October 6, 1999

Salmonella Outbreak in Wisconsin Linked to Sprouts

Nineteen confirmed cases in six counties

MADISON, WI (SafetyAlerts) - The Wisconsin Division of Public Health is investigating an outbreak of salmonella in six counties.  So far there have been nineteen confirmed cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Muenchen.

Detailed interviews of the ill individuals have identified consumption of alfalfa sprouts as the likely source of their infection.   The sprouts were eaten alone, as mixed sprouts containing alfalfa sprouts, or as sprouts appearing to be alfalfa sprouts.

The Division of Public Health is working with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to determine which specific brands and types of alfalfa like sprouts are involved and where they may have been distributed.

Wisconsin Health and Agriculture officials are advising persons and food establishments who have purchased these types of sprouts, since mid-August from any source in Wisconsin, not to eat or serve them and to discard them.

Individuals infected with salmonella bacteria may experience mild to severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and occasionally vomiting for several days.  Symptoms of gastrointestinal illness generally begin 18-36 hours after exposure.

Children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems should not eat raw sprouts.  Although sprouts are considered a "health food," the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish.

Safety Alerts compiles comprehensive safety recall information for the United States. SafeMail is a free email service to warn consumers of faulty products and contaminated foods. For complete information regarding current recalls, past recalls and timely product warning notification visit: www.safetyalerts.com.

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