Health Hazard Alert in 1999 From Canada Because of Salmonella Java in Alfalfa Sprouts

Health Hazard Alert – Alfalfa Sprouts May Contain Salmonella Bacteria

SEPT. 29, 1999

OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume Living Foods, Sprouts Alive and Kootenay Sprouts brand alfalfa sprouts and sprout mixes because they may contain Salmonella bacteria. The source of the bacteria has been linked to a batch of suspect seed used to produce the sprout products.

The sprouts are grown by Living Foods, of Camrose, Alta.; Living Foods, of Saskatoon, Sask.; and Kootenay Sprouts, of Nelson, B.C. They are sold according to the following package sizes and descriptions:

  • Living Foods brand, 140 gram plastic packages and 3 lb. food service bags with expiry dates prior to October 16;
  • Sprouts Alive brand alfalfa and deli sprouts, 140 gram plastic packages and 3 lb. food service bags; and
  • Kootenay Sprouts brand alfalfa sprouts, broccoli alfalfa sprouts, salad crunch, sweet onion & alfalfa and savoury deli in plastic packages, food service bags or in bulk, purchased on or before September 30.

These sprouts may have been distributed in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Consumers who have concerns about these products should discard them or return them to their point of purchase. Living Foods alfalfa sprouts with lot codes after EX\10\15 are not affected by this recall.

Salmonella may cause gastrointestinal illness in humans. The illness may be characterized by prolonged flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, fever, stomach cramps and watery diarrhea. Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

Illnesses associated with consumption of sprouts have been reported in Western Canada. As a precautionary measure, Living Foods and Kootenay Sprouts are voluntarily recalling all of their sprout products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.