Salmonella E Coli outbreak and sprouts

The latest reports June 10 2011 link sprouts and the E. coli outbreak in Germany. Due to the way sprouts are started from seeds this news should not be too surprising.

Raw sprouts can host E. coli and salmonella. This has been demonstrated when over a hundred people were infected in a salmonella outbreak which started from alfalfa sprouts.

How does the contamination occur? The sprouts are grown in a warm, wet environment. This is very friendly for pathogens. If there has been any kind of bird droppings or contamination in the water then it will be nurtured by this situation.

It is recommended that you avoid eating any raw sprouts including mung bean, alfalfa, clover and radish if you are:

  • Child
  • Elderly
  • Pregnant
  • Weak immune system

If you are going to eat sprouts then it is recommended that you cook them thoroughly. Do not eat raw or partially cooked. Be careful when you are eating out. Whether it is a sandwich from the deli bar or eating at a restaurant, request that you not be served raw sprouts.