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For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2010
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144
media@ph.lacounty.gov


Salmonella Cases Linked to Alfalfa Sprouts Distributed in California
So far 23 sickened in 10 states, but none in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is collaborating with state and federal agencies to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella that has been linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts. The sprouts were traced back to Caldwell Fresh Foods of Maywood, CA, which yesterday issued a voluntary recall of all alfalfa sprouts manufactured under the Caldwell Fresh Foods, Natures Choice, and California Exotics brands.

"Once we learned of this recall, Public Health immediately reached out to food markets throughout the county to make sure that the potentially tainted product has been removed from shelves and destroyed," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "If you have purchased any of the recalled sprouts, discard them immediately. Caldwell products unaffected by the recall will have a bright green sticker affixed to their packaging to ensure that there is no confusion."

The recalled alfalfa sprouts are labeled and packaged as follows:

  • Caldwell Fresh Foods - 4-ounce plastic cups and one -pound plastic bags, and 2-pound and 5-pound plastic bags in cardboard boxes with sticker affixed with the printed words "Caldwell Fresh Foods."
  • Nature's Choice - 4-ounce plastic cups
  • California Exotics brands - 5-ounce plastic clamshell containers
  • So far, at least 23 people in 10 states have been sickened, 11 of them in California. No cases have been reported in Los Angeles County. Though some of those sickened have been hospitalized, no fatalities are connected with this outbreak.

    Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness typically lasts between four and seven days. However, infants, elderly individuals and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness. Alfalfa sprouts in general are a high risk food for these groups. Severe infections can be fatal if left untreated by antibiotics.

    More information about the Salmonella outbreak can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/newport/index.html. Further details about the alfalfa sprout recall are available on the Food and Drug Administration's website at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm213119.htm.

    The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: LAPublicHealth.


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    Related Information Site(s): CDC | FDA