We count 61 outbreaks associated with raw sprouts, sickening at least 11,179.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that as of December 15, 2014, a total of 111 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 12 states.
Twenty-six percent of ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are the likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, 48 (66%) of 73 ill persons reported eating bean sprouts or menu items containing bean sprouts in the week before becoming ill.
Wonton Foods, Inc. continues to cooperate with state and federal public health and agriculture officials.
On November 21, 2014, Wonton Foods Inc. agreed to destroy any remaining products while they conducted a thorough cleaning and sanitization and implemented other Salmonella control measures. On November 24, the firm completed the cleaning and sanitation and resumed production of bean sprouts. The firm resumed shipment on November 29, 2014.
Contaminated bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are likely no longer available for purchase or consumption given the maximum 12-day shelf life of mung bean sprouts.
CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants, and other retailers always practice food safety for sprouts
Children, older adults, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).
Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Cooking sprouts thoroughly kills any harmful bacteria.
CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella Enteritidis isolates collected from three ill persons infected with the outbreak strains.
All three isolates were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the NARMS panel.
This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will update the public when more information becomes available.