Salad Cosmo Recalls Clover Sprouts

SaladCosmo Recalls Clover Sprouts – 18 Cases of Salmonellosis Linked to ContaminatedProduct


June 6, 1999

Dixon, CA – The California Department of Health Services(DHS) has warned consumers not to eat Salad Cosmo brand clover sprouts becausethe product may be contaminated with salmonella, a dangerous bacteria. Theclover sprouts have been linked to at least 18 cases of salmonellosis, afood-borne illness, including 13 in Santa Clara, three in Santa Cruz, one in SanBenito and one in San Francisco counties. The clover sprouts are also containedin a “Sprout Medley” produced by Salad Cosmo. The illnesses occurredbetween May 10 and May 30. The manufacturer, Salad Cosmo of Dixon, California,has voluntarily recalled the clover sprouts distributed to restaurants andgrocery stores in northern California.

Consumers who purchased the recalled sprout products shoulddiscard or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

Cloverand alfalfa sprouts have repeatedly been linked to outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli 0157 infections. Salmonellosis is an acute bacterial infection commonlycharacterized by diarrhea and fever. Symptoms usually develop within one to fourdays after eating contaminated food. Most cases resolve without the need formedical attention.

People who have eaten sprouts and develop severe symptomsshould contact their doctor. Some individuals with salmonellosis develop seriousillness that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Clover and alfalfa sprouts are of concern for severalreasons:

*  Sproutsgenerally are eaten raw with no additional treatment, such as cooking, whicheliminates bacteria that can cause disease.

*  Conditionsrequired for sprout growing are ideal for rapid bacterial growth.

*  Consumersmay be unknowingly exposed to sprouts on sandwiches or salads purchased atrestaurants and delicatessens.

Today’s warning follows an advisory issued by DHS in Augustfor “high-risk” individuals to avoid eating raw clover and alfalfasprouts until methods are implemented to improve their safety. High-riskconsumers include the very young, the elderly and individuals with compromisedimmune systems. DHS officials today reiterated their warning that clover andalfalfa sprouts should not be served in day care centers, school lunch programs,nursing homes, and hospitals.

CONTACT: Carla B. Agar or Lea Brooks
(916) 657-3064