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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Hey, Sprout Industry – World-Wide – It is time for a Warning on Seeds and Sprouts

I am losing track of the outbreaks and having a hard time keeping track of the countries that the body counts are coming from.  I suggested before that it was time for a warning on sprouts, now it is a time to do it on seeds as well.  Here is what should be put on the bags and packets of seeds and on sprout containers:

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  • Doc Mudd

    Good label. Should you include some graphic photos of folks, like the tobacco industry is set to do?
    Maybe some stunning images of people stuffing slimey sprouts in their faces, perhaps some of folks with projectile diarrhea, possibly a small album of kidney transplant images.
    Just a suggestion.

  • Very comprehensive, but the sprout industry I predict will self destruct, taking down many a firm that ventured into this risky commodity. That is, unless we find a cure for the contamination issue very quickly.
    We have a situation where FDA has provided minumum standards and left the sprouters to develop their food safety programs without much oversight.
    This weak link clearly shows what a mess food safety is in.

  • totally agree with this warning … :D This issue should be taken seriously, because it is related to the health of so many people around the world, especially the workers..

  • Love the black humor. And agree with you about the sprout issue. In fact, at the beginning of this year, I put sandwiches and salads made with sprouts at the top of the list of foods I would not eat in 2011 (posted Jan. 4 to my blog – http://www.thesafefoodhandbook.blogspot.com).
    But of course, there will usually be few of those hazardous bacteria in the seeds themselves. Only when the seeds are subjected to pre-germination soaking and then to germination do the bacteria multiply to pathogenic levels – which could be in the millions per gram of seeds. So maybe the warning should read : “Use at your own risk!”
    Heli Perrett, PhD

  • Outside contamination from the meat industry has led to the notorious pathogens that have been found in sprouts. Even so, instances of contamination are, from what I’ve been reading, exceedingly rare. These instances are most probably caused by contamination of seeds coming from factory farms, which are designed to feed stupendously and massively diseased animal meat to the public. If you are ignorant of this massive problem please read Eating Animals by Jonathon Foer or Food Revolution by John Robins. It is totally unfair to the sprout industry to typecast it and scapegoat it and reduce it to a caricature. A better solution would be to end the factory farming that is producing more untreated animal sewage than all of America’s treated human sewage. This massive assault on the environment is the source of many instances of seed and vegetable contamination. Lets put the blame right where it belongs. The pathogens that have affected sprouts on rare occasions, are bred in the massive and miserable environment of factory farms where tens of thousands of animals are crowded together in single buildings.