The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts from plastic bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce Inc." These sprouts may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis bacteria, which can cause serious illness if consumed. The very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
Already, the FDA has linked the consumption of these sprouts to as many as 20 cases of illness in Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota and Washington state. The sprouts were sold in 4-ounce and 16-ounce bags with pre-printed labels, and in one- and five-pound bags with stick-on labels.
People are asked to dispose of the sprouts in sealed containers to inhibit their consumption by scavenging people, pets or wild animals.
The FDA has previously warned consumers that eating raw sprouts is risky because of possible bacterial contamination. A new strain of E. coli is believed to have been spread throughout Europe because of contaminated sprouts, and the FDA has announced several U.S. recalls in recent months.
Consumers with questions about sprout safety can call the FDA at 1-800-SAFEFOOD.
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