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May 26, 2010: Fresh Foods Alfalfa Sprout Recall

FDA announced an urgent nationwide alfalfa sprout recall after raw alfalfa sprouts were linked to Salmonella outbreak in 10 States. Caldwell Fresh Foods of Maywood, Calif., is voluntarily recalling all of its alfalfa sprouts marketed under the Caldwell Fresh Foods, Nature’s Choice, and California Exotics brands.

This recall affects raw alfalfa sprouts packaged and labeled as: Caldwell Fresh Foods alfalfa sprouts – 4-ounce plastic  cups and one pound plastic bags and in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic bags in cardboard boxes with sticker affixed wit  the printed words “Caldwell Fresh Foods”; Nature’s Choice alfalfa sprouts – 4-ounce plastic cups; California Exotics  brands alfalfa sprouts – 5-ounce plastic clamshell containers.

FDA advises that no one purchase, eat or use raw sprouts from Caldwell Fresh Foods.

The recalled products have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in consumers in Arizona,  California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.  The sprouts were distributed to a variety of restaurants, delicatessens and retailers, including Trader Joe's and Wal-Mart stores.

FDA explains that Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.  Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Consumers experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.

FDA is investigating the outbreak in cooperation with the U.S.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, and public health  agencies in other affected states.  FDA, with the California Department of Public Health, is inspecting the firm’s  facility and collecting samples. FDA reminds sprout producers that the likelihood of Salmonella and other pathogens in sprouts can be reduced  by employing preventive controls contained in FDA’s Sprout Guidance.

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