221135-gop-candidates.jpgRomney does not seem like a sprout eater, but he might change his mind on that. Santorum likely thinks that sprouts are from the devil, and they likely are. Gingrich does not look like he eats many vegetables. Paul on the other hand, I could see eating sprouts as he swigs a large glass of raw milk.

So, I wonder how the candidates feel about food safety?

The Michigan departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are issuing a public health alert regarding illness shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) from infections among people who have reported raw clover sprouts consumption in mid and southeast Michigan. At this time, MDCH is recommending that people avoid consumption of raw clover sprouts until further information about the origin of the contaminated sprouts is available.

Michigan currently has two confirmed E. coli O26 cases and five suspect cases. The illness onset dates range from February 6 – 12, 2012. All seven people reported consumption of raw sprouts at Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in mid and southeast Michigan. Of the seven cases, there have been two known hospitalizations. Those affected range in age from 19-50.  These illnesses are part of a six state Jimmy John’s “sproutbreak.”

E. coli O26 is a Shiga toxin-producing bacterium, similar to E. coli O157:H7. Illness caused by E. coli O26 can include symptoms of acute diarrhea, in particular, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps with little or no fever. The illness usually lasts one week. In some people, especially young children, the elderly, or those who are immunocompromised, a more severe illness, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), even death, is possible. Persons with HUS have kidney failure and often require dialysis and transfusions.