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Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Minnesota Department of Health, among other local authorities, found that the Escherichia coli outbreak that broke out over two states is likely connected to alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & the Green Sprouts. This brand of alfalfa sprouts are not safe to eat, as they may be contaminated with STEC O157.

Jack and The Green Sprouts Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak Recall

On February 25, 2016, Jack & The Green Sprouts, Inc. of River Falls, Wisconsin recalled all alfalfa and alfalfa onion sprout products after the Minnesota Department of Health received several reports of E. coli illnesses associated with the products. According the CDC press release, the alfalfa sprouts were packaged in a plastic clamshell container with a round, brightly colored label on top that notes the sprout variety.

Jack and The Green Sprouts Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak Details

At this point, authorities found eleven people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157). Two of the infected people were hospitalized. None of the infected people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, an E. coli symptom and a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Eight of the people infected were interviewed, and they all reported eating or maybe eating alfalfa sprouts or menu items containing alfalfa sprouts in the week before they became ill. All victims of the outbreak were from two states: Minnesota (8) and Wisconsin (3).

The CDC does not believe this E. coli outbreak to be related to the ongoing multistate outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen infections linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms of Inman, Kansas. However, sprouts are a known source of food borne illness.

Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit Help

The Weinberg Law Firm has helped food poisoning victims nationwide receive compensation for their injuries and related damages. If you or a loved one has been injured after eating an E. coli contaminated alfalfa product, and you would like to know more about your legal rights, please call our lawyers at 1-877-934-6274 or visit our Food Poisoning Lawsuit Help page for a free Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit case evaluation.

Investigation of the Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak

The CDC has provided the following details on their investigation of the multistate Jack & Green Sprouts Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak:

  • State and local health and regulatory officials performed traceback investigations from seven different locations where ill people ate or bought alfalfa sprouts. These investigations indicated that Jack & The Green Sprouts supplied alfalfa sprouts to all seven locations.
  • The information available to date indicates that alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts may be contaminated with STEC O157 and are not safe to eat. On February 24, 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a press release warning consumers not to eat these products. CDC recommends that consumers do not eat and restaurants and other retailers do not sell or serve alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts at this time.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and we will update the public when more information becomes available. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview those people about foods they ate before they got sick.

About E. coli

Escherichia coli or E. coli is a type of bacterium that lives in the intestines of healthy humans and animals. While many strains of E. coli are harmless, some strains are capable of producing a powerful toxin, known as Shiga toxin, and can cause severe, life-threatening illness. These pathogenic strains of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli are often referred to as “STEC.”

Children and the elderly are at greatest risk for suffering complications resulting from E. coli infection, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP).

Symptoms of E. coli Food Poisoning

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. The diarrhea may become bloody and can lead to dehydration. There is usually little or no fever. The infection (and its symptoms) will vary from individual to individual, ranging from a mild to a life-threatening illness.

Annual Number of E. coli Foodborne Infections – In their report on foodborne illnesses*, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 63,000 persons are infected with STEC O157:H7 and 113,000 persons are infected with STEC non-O157 in the US each year. These illnesses result in about 2,100 hospitalizations and 20 E. coli related deaths annually.

Foods Associated with E. coli Food PoisoningE. coli foodborne illness is often associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef and other meat products. Other sources of infection may include non-pasteurized milk and juice, sprouts, leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach, swimming in sewage-contaminated lakes and pools, and drinking inadequately chlorinated water.

Person-to-person contact in families, childcare centers, and nursing homes is also an important mode of transmission. Bacteria in the stools of infected individuals can be passed from one person to another if hygiene or hand washing habits are inadequate.

Diagnosing a Foodborne Illness – If you suspect that you are suffering from a foodborne illness, it is important to contact your doctor or health care professional. A diagnosis of E. coli foodborne illness can usually be confirmed by performing a stool culture that can detect the presence of the pathogenic bacterium in an infected individual’s stool.

Obtain a Free Alfalfa E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit Evaluation

If you or a family member has suffered from food poisoning, and you have a question about your legal rights, you can request a free case evaluation from our firm by clicking on E. coli Lawsuit. You may also call us toll free at 877-934-6274. Our phones are answered 24/7.

*Foodborne Illness Acquired in the United States-Major Pathogens: Scallan, E.; Hoekstra, R.M.; Angulo, F.M.; Tauxe, R.V.; Widdowson, M-A; Roy, S.L.; Jones, J.L.; Griffin, P.M.: Emerging Infectious Deseases, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 2011.

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