For Immediate Release: April 27, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON - The Vermont Department of Health is advising Vermonters to avoid eating raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently investigating multiple cases of salmonellosis that may be linked to eating raw alfalfa sprouts.
Contamination of seeds for alfalfa sprouts may be responsible for 31 illnesses across multiple states, according to FDA and CDC. FDA is working with the alfalfa sprout industry to help identify which seeds and alfalfa sprouts are not linked to the contaminated seeds.
There have been no reports of foodborne illness in Vermont related to the outbreak. Vermonters are advised not to eat raw alfalfa sprouts and throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them.
Symptoms of illness caused by eating food contaminated with Salmonella include headache, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Salmonella can cause more serious illness in people with weakened immune systems or other underlying health conditions.
Vermonters who think they may be ill from eating raw sprouts should contact their health care provider. For more information about the outbreak visit the FDA website at: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2009/NEW02001.html