Alfalfa sprouts with a touch of radish (and Salmonella) recalled in Canada

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, AquaFuschia, a Quebec-based sprouted seed company is recalling one of their products, alfalfa sprouts with a touch of radish, after routine regulatory sampling revealed Salmonella.

AquaFuschia has a nice story on their website about the history of their products, sadly, nothing about food safety systems. If I was a retail buyer I’d want to see how well they follow the CFIA sprouted seed guidance document and what their seed source is.20140225a_1393382891929_eng

Aquafuchsia Foods Inc. is recalling Aquafuchsia brand alfalfa sprout product from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination.

This recall was triggered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.
Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

When gourmet means no sprouts

Friday I had to grab a quick lunch, so I joined a colleague at the “UQ Refec” (University of Queensland – that’s in Australia – food court in American lingo) to buy a sandwich. She had one in hand within a few seconds while I picked over the containers. The delicious looking wraps all had sprouts. Some were labeled with all ingredients, including alfalfa, but some were simply called Chicken and Salad and still contained sprouts. I rejected a chicken caesar sandwich because it cost $2 more for the same amount of food. While frantically trying to make a decision, I attempted to explain, in French, the dangers of sprouts and my decision not to eat them. I do enjoy the taste, but there are just too many people getting sick.

Finally, I settled on a sliced roast pork, shaved carrots and cucumber sandwich. It, too, was $2 more but sprout-free. Apparently gourmet means no sprout filler.

We returned to our office to discuss work over lunch. I cracked open my sandwich only to realize it was made on chia seed bread. At least the bread was cooked.

A table of sprout-related outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/sprouts-associated-outbreaks

When gourmet means no sprouts

Friday I had to grab a quick lunch, so I joined a colleague at the “UQ Refec” (University of Queensland – that’s in Australia – food court in American lingo) to buy a sandwich. She had one in hand within a few seconds while I picked over the containers. The delicious looking wraps all had sprouts. Some were labeled with all ingredients, including alfalfa, but some were simply called Chicken and Salad and still contained sprouts. I rejected a chicken caesar sandwich because it cost $2 more for the same amount of food. While frantically trying to make a decision, I attempted to explain, in French, the dangers of sprouts and my decision not to eat them. I do enjoy the taste, but there are just too many people getting sick.

Finally, I settled on a sliced roast pork, shaved carrots and cucumber sandwich. It, too, was $2 more but sprout-free. Apparently gourmet means no sprout filler.

We returned to our office to discuss work over lunch. I cracked open my sandwich only to realize it was made on chia seed bread. At least the bread was cooked.

A table of sprout-related outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/sprouts-associated-outbreaks

Sprouts strike again; 23 sick with Salmonella in 10 states, including infant; 4 hospitalized

Oregon Public Health officials today are warning consumers about a nationwide recall of alfalfa sprouts produced by Caldwell Fresh Foods of Maywood, Calif., and sold under several label names in Oregon. The sprouts are being sold in at least 17 other states in the West, Midwest and the South. The sprouts have been identified as the source of an outbreak of salmonellosis. All Caldwell-produced alfalfa sprout products are covered in the recall. (The implicated products are pictured, below).

To date, 23 people from 10 states, including one Multnomah County infant, have been identified with matching Salmonella Newport. At least four of these people, including the Oregon child, were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

William E. Keene, PhD, MPH, a senior epidemiologist at Oregon Public Health, said,

“Once again, alfalfa sprouts have been identified as the cause of an outbreak of
salmonellosis. Consumers who have sprouts at home should check to see if they have the recalled brands, and if so should discard them immediately. Retailers should immediately check their stocks and pull any Caldwell products.”

Raw sprouts have been repeatedly identified as the cause of outbreaks of salmonellosis, E. coli O157:H7 infections, and other diseases. This is the 12th sprout-caused outbreak that has sickened Oregonians since 1995, Keene said.

“Anyone concerned about a food-borne disease should consider this before eating sprouts. The risk of severe illness is particularly high among the elderly, the immunocompromised and the very young.”

The recalled sprouts were packaged in four-ounce plastic cups and one-pound plastic bags under the Caldwell Fresh Foods brand; four-ounce plastic cups under the Nature’s Choice brand; five-ounce plastic clamshell containers under the California Fresh Exotics brand; and two-pound and five-pound plastic bags in cardboard boxes with a Caldwell Fresh Foods sticker. In Oregon, the recalled sprouts were sold at Trader Joe’s, Walmart and possibly other locations, including restaurants and delicatessens.

Retailers and wholesalers that have any of the recalled sprouts should segregate them from other produce and contact their distributor or Caldwell at 323-589-4008 for additional information. Restaurant and deli operators should check their stock immediately to identify and pull any of the recalled products, Keene said.