Fugi Natural Foods Announces Recall of Alfalfa Sprouts

FujiNatural Foods Announces Recall ofAlfalfa Sprouts
April 17,2001
California Department of Health Services News Release

SACRAMENTO ¬≠ Fuji Natural Foods of Ontario, Calif., is voluntarily recallingall of its alfalfa sprout products because they may be contaminated withSalmonella, a bacteria that causes human illness, State Health Director DianaBontá, R.N., Dr. P.H., announced today. The manufacturer also is temporarilysuspending production of alfalfa sprouts while its production and testingprocesses are being reviewed.

Whileno illnesses have been linked to sprouts covered by today's recall, theCalifornia Department of Health Services (CDHS) is investigating an outbreak ofSalmonella illnesses associated with Fuji alfalfa sprouts that occurred lastFebruary. Twenty-two cases of illness were reported from 12 California counties,and one from Arizona, between Feb. 2 and March 26.

Of theillnesses reported from the previous lot of sprouts, five were from Los AngelesCounty, four from San Diego County, two each from San Bernardino, San LuisObispo and Ventura counties, and one each from Contra Costa, Humboldt, Kern,Marin, Orange, Riverside and San Mateo counties. One individual each from LosAngeles and San Bernardino counties were
hospitalized, but have since recovered.

Theproducts recalled today were distributed to wholesalers, grocery stores, delisand restaurants in California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. The recallincludes alfalfa sprout-containing products bearing the "Fuji NaturalFoods" logo or "The Sprout Factory," "Alfalfa Sprouts ­Always Fresh - Calco Farms" and "Young and Tender Living AlfalfaSprouts" brand names. Labels bearing the "Spicy Sprouts,""Alfalfa Sprouts" or "Zesty Sprouts" name with the FujiNatural Foods logo are included in this recall. The total amount of sproutsbeing recalled is under investigation.

Theseproducts were distributed in the following sizes and containers:
4-ounce and 6-ounce plastic cups.
6-ounce, 1-pound and 3-pound plastic bags.
2-pound and 5-pound plastic trays.
4-pound boxes (consisting of two 2-pound trays).
5-pound boxes.

Consumerswho have purchased these products should not eat them and are urged to discardthem or return them to the point of purchase for a refund.

Salmonellais a bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal illness in healthy individuals.Symptoms frequently include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Although rare,more serious infections and fatalities do occur, particularly in young children,the elderly or others with weakened immune systems. Consumers with any of thesesymptoms should contact their physician.

CDHSand the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously have issued consumeradvisories regarding the potential risks associated with eating alfalfa andclover sprouts.

Children,the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems should not eat any rawsprouts.

Healthyindividuals also can become ill from raw sprouts.