A Nebraska company is recalling alfalfa sprouts sold in three states due to potential salmonella contamination while state health officials are investigating a “cluster of gastrointestinal diseases” caused by the bacteria.
SunSprout Enterprises, headquartered in Fremont, Nebraska, announced on Thursday that it is voluntarily recalling four batches of raw alfalfa sprouts.
The company said it has distributed 1,406 pounds of produce to five foodservice and grocery customers in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa since late November and mid-December. The product was sold in 4-ounce oyster shells and 2.5-pound packs with best-selling purchase dates between December 10, 2022, and January 7, 2023.
The company said the recall was out of “too much precautionary”.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported that as of Thursday, 16 people had fallen ill and all consumed SunSprout brand alfalfa sprouts at home after purchasing them at local restaurants or local grocery stores between December 4 and 13. Thursday.
Regarding the investigation, the ministry said that the test results of eight of these people showed salmonella infection, while seven others are awaiting confirmation.
SunSprout said it has not received any complaints or reports of illness due to the recalled product.
“This voluntary recall is the result of a preliminary investigation by the State of Nebraska in connection with the CDC into an outbreak of disease possibly related to alfalfa sprouts,” the company said.
SunSprout said it’s investigating further “how the sprouts are processed and stored after leaving the Nebraska facility.”
Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems. Infected healthy people typically experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Nebraska health department said most people with salmonella infections recover within four to seven days without the use of antibiotics.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue commended local and state health officials for quickly narrowing down the cause of illness.
“From the first people to report illness to state and local health departments to those who do more research, rapid sequencing at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, and national assistance from the CDC and FDA, statewide and national collaboration has allowed us to narrow down. We have the suspect item on us as soon as possible. “This is a very good example of public health at work,” he said.
The investigation continues.