As of Monday, the 21 people sickened with salmonella enteritidis included three that had to be hospitalized; those sickened ranged in age from 12 to 77 years old and live in Idaho (3 people), Montana (7), North Dakota (1), New Jersey (1) and Washington (9), the CDC said. Investigators have linked the outbreak with alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts from Evergreen Produce Inc. of Idaho.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Monday not to eat sprouts from the company. Nadine Scharf, co-owner of Evergreen Produce, told the Associated Press the company has stopped producing the sprouts and that the FDA didn't have enough evidence to tie the outbreak to the company's products. Evergreen Produce doesn't plan on issuing a recall.
The FDA said the possibly contaminated alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts were sold in 4-ounce and 16-ounce plastic bags as well as 1-pound and 5-pound bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce Inc."
Salmonella enteritidis is commonly found in poultry products though it can be found in other food products as well, including raw milk, pork, beef, sprouts and raw almonds. People who are sickened by a salmonella infection usually suffer from fever, diarrhea, cramps, nausea and vomiting and recover in about a week. Those most at risk are very young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
And sprouts aren't the only product that have been recently linked to cases of food poisoning. Just this year, there have been food poisoning outbreaks linked to cantaloupe as well as turkey burgers.