The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed cases of E.coli infection in Idaho and Washington State. At least 10 people have been affected, and the CDC and Food and Drug Administration are currently investigating the outbreak. (E.coli is short for escherichia coli, a large group of bacteria).
This recent E. coli outbreak is linked to raw clover sprouts grown and sold by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts of Idaho. The owner of the produce company, however, still says his sprouts are bacteria-free. Evergreen also had a Salmonella incident in 2011 with their alfafa and spicy sprouts. However, experts do say that the warm, moist conditions needed to grow sprouts is a ‘breeding ground for bacteria.”
The CDC’s press release states that:
Results from initial state and local epidemiologic investigations indicate a link to eating raw clover sprouts. In interviews, nine (90%) of ten ill persons reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before becoming ill. This proportion is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy persons in which 8% reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before they were interviewed. According to the Washington State Department of Health and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, ill persons reported eating sprouts in sandwiches at several local food establishments, including several Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches locations, the Pita Pit, and Daanen’s Deli.
The CDC also recommends that people should throw out these raw clover sprouts and not even eat them cooked.
If you think you might have become sick from eating the infected sprouts, go to your doctor immediately. Symptoms of E. coli poisoning, which usually occur 3-4 days after eating the food, includes stomach cramping and bloody diarrhea.
This hasn’t been a good week for food safety, as ground beef, hummus, and walnuts were also recalled for E.coli and listeria outbreaks. Watch below for CNN’s coverage of all the food recalls and outbreaks: