Danish Sprout Related Outbreak of Salmonella Newport in 1995

Email from the sprout grower involved in the 1995 outbreak in Denmark of Salmonella Newport

Fra: Bob Rust
Sendt: 7. august 2005 14:28
Til: Ulla Peterson
Emne: 1995 Salmonella Newport Outbreak

Regarding the seed. The Newport infected seed came from an Italian supplier called Bottos Sementi owned by a Christiano Bottos. They shipped us one ton of seed for testing in 1995 – very infected. Our state laboratory still has 100 kilos or so, that they use for research. I know they have shipped samples all over the world for research, as it is rare to have some of the infected lot left with the complete history of the scene it created.

We grew 800 kilos of the seed before we knew what was wrong. 154 people were reported ill. Nobody died.

The company in Italy shipped us a load of red lentils one year after. At that time we had our own testing in place, and the seed was returned to Italy. But I know for sure, that Bottos deny to take this matter serious and I assume they are just selling to another customer afterwards.

We have not since the accident in 95 had any recalls of our sprouts. We do occasionally find salmonella in : Alfalfa, lentils, sunflower and cress. Have never found it in mung beans – we only use Chinese.

I am personally sitting here in Denmark wondering what is going on in your country. I live in a small country where any use of chlorine is forbidden. So I cannot soak in chlorine or anything else for that matter. My only assurance of any outbreaks is our testing of seed, and the fact that we do not use a supplier twice who ships us infected seed. Unfortunately in our country all sprouts, beansprouts as well as alfalfa,are eaten raw. Tell me how come, that Denmark has not had an outbreak – we know of – since 1995?????  You American growers must be neglecting the important stuff and concentrating too much on your chlorine. Maybe that gives you all a false security. We three growers in Denmark are quiet proof that testing the seed is the most important thing ever. Denmark produces around 90 tons of sprouts per week – 2/3 rds are beansprouts. Apart from 30 tons per week ending up in springrolls the rest are eaten raw.

Have a wonderful day!!!!!

Kind regards