Washington State health officials believe alfalfa sprouts are connected to an outbreak of Salmonella that’s sickened nine people in Washington and four in Oregon. The outbreak has been tied to alfalfa sprouts from Sprouters Northwest, Inc. in Kent. The company has agreed to voluntarily recall the product and has stopped distributing it. The sprouts are sold in a variety of package sizes labeled “Alfalfa Sprouts,” or as mixed varieties that contain alfalfa sprouts as an ingredient. People should not eat any products from Sprouters Northwest that contain alfalfa sprouts. Discard them immediately or return them to the store.

The first cases of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported in early August. People have been sickened in Clark, Island, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties. At least two have required hospitalization.

Sound Familiar? It was reported on June 4, 2004 that Sprouters Northwest Inc. was recalling 2-, 3- and 5-lb. institutional trays of sprouts sent to various food institutions because they may be linked to a recent increase in salmonellosis in Oregon and Washington, the FDA said in a statement. Twelve cases of Salmonella Bovismorbificans, possibly linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts, have been reported, the FDA said.

We represented victims of two Salmonella outbreaks linked to sprouts produced by Harmony Farms, an Auburn, Washington firm, and Hydro-Harvest and Pacific Coast Sprout Farms of Oregon.

The FDA has long warned about the dangers of sprouts – see links to FDA concerns.