A multistate outbreak of Salmonella has been linked to a Denver, CO-based sprout company. At least 30 people have fallen ill and five were hospitalized after consuming alfalfa sprouts originating from Sprouts Extraordinaire. The nine states affected include Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming.
Despite federal food safety investigators tracing the outbreak to the Denver company, owner Steve Carlson says, “All of our pre-shipment testing of these alfalfa sprouts did not find any Salmonella. All of the laboratory testing performed by the FDA and the company during the investigation did not find Salmonella. The company has cooperated fully with the FDA and the CDC in this process.”
Still, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that Sprouts Extraordinaire is the likely source of the outbreak.
While Sprouts Extraordinaire maintains that there is no direct link between their business and the Salmonella outbreak, the alfalfa sprouts were recalled “out of an abundance of caution”. The company only distributes its sprouts within Colorado, but customers might have then shipped them to other states, possibly spreading the outbreak. The sprouts were not sold directly to consumers.
Officials believe that additional victims may come forward since there is usually a gap in between the time a person becomes sick and the time their illness is reported to the proper authorities.