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Published February 07, 2009, 12:00 AM

Food warning issued over brand of alfalfa sprouts

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued a consumer advisory for Jack and The Green Sprouts brand alfalfa sprouts after routine product testing found a package of the product to contain Salmonella bacteria.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued a consumer advisory for Jack and The Green Sprouts brand alfalfa sprouts after routine product testing found a package of the product to contain Salmonella bacteria.

This product contamination is not associated with the ongoing national investigation of illnesses linked with peanut butter products. Laboratory testing conducted by MDA and the Minnesota Department of Health found the bacteria isolated from the sprouts were Salmonella diarizonae.

While the state is not aware of any illnesses associated with consumption of this product, MDA is asking all consumers to throw away any Jack and The Green Sprouts alfalfa sprouts they have purchased.

MDA routinely collects and tests food items from retail outlets as a food safety precaution. According to MDA Dairy and Food Inspection Director Dr. Heidi Kassenborg, the testing program is designed to detect contaminated food products before they cause problems.

“There are many safeguards in place to prevent food contamination, but when a problem happens, our goal is to find it as quickly as possible,” Dr. Kassenborg said. “The best-case scenario is to find a problem before it makes anyone sick.”

Jack and The Green Sprouts brand alfalfa sprouts are produced by Jack and The Green Sprouts, Inc., based in River Falls, Wisconsin, and distributed in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

MDA is working alongside officials from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to investigate the contamination and to remove the product from distribution and retail facilities.

Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can result in abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever. Anyone who believes they may have become ill as a result of eating this product or foods made with this product should contact a health care provider.

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