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New Salmonella Infection Prompts Calls for Warning Label

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 8-Aug-2016

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Posted by Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner.

As reported recently by the Food Poison Journal, a new outbreak of Salmonella infection from alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver, Colorado has affected consumers in nine states. Results from the Federal, state and local trace back investigations indicate that the ill people in the current outbreak all reported consuming raw alfalfa sprouts by Sprouts Extraordinaire.

On August 5, 2016, Sprouts Extraordinaire recalled its alfalfa sprout products, (sold in five-pound boxes labeled "Living Alfalfa Sprouts"), due to possible Salmonella contamination. The CDC recommends avoiding any alfalfa sprouts recalled by Sprouts Extraordinaire.

Listed below are the specific guidelines issued by the CDC regarding this particular outbreak:

  • The CDC recommends that consumers avoid eating alfalfa sprouts produced by Sprouts Extraordinaire.
    • Those who became ill consumed alfalfa sprouts in meals prepared at restaurants.
    • Consumers are not likely to know that they are eating contaminated alfalfa sprouts produced by Sprouts Extraordinaire.
    • Consumers should ask retailers or restaurant owners if their sprouts came from Sprouts Extraordinaire. If they do not know for sure, they should avoid eating sprouts.
  • Get in touch with your doctor if you think you may have become ill after consuming alfalfa sprouts.
    • The majority of people infected with Salmonella develop the following symptoms 12-72 hours after exposure to the bacteria:
      • Abdominal cramps
      • Fever
      • Diarrhea
  • Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. Here is how you can reduce your risk of illness:
    • Sprouts should be cooked thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
    • Children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or those undergoing treatment for cancer, should avoid eating any kind of raw sprout, including mung bean, clover, radish, and alfalfa sprouts.
    • If you are an individual with a weakened immune system, you should check to ensure that sprouts have not been added to your meal.

Since 1998, the FDA has warned consumers about raw sprouts as inherently risky for foodborne outbreaks: "Children, pregnant women, and the elderly should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of a potentially deadly bacteria that infects some sprouts.”

The Food Poison Journal suggests the following warning label be included on any sprouts:

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Contaminated food can cause very serious injuries, even death. I have extensive experience representing clients who have contracted foodborne illnesses in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and throughout the country. Other law firms routinely refer food poisoning cases to me.

Do you have any questions about this post? If so, please email Mr. Zambri: szambri@reganfirm.com.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer of the Year." Super Lawyers recently named him among the "Top Ten" lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys) (2014 and 2015). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area (2016). The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best - most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers (2016 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine - national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

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