May 2009

In a 483 Inspection Report released today, FDA inspectors identified multiple food-safety shortcomings at the Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella California that was linked to a Salmonella outbreak earlier this year:

1. The company detected the bacteria in roasted pistachios in October but did not change its processing procedures until March

2. In one

 How big is "a lot?" Raleigh, NC-based L&M Companies, Inc. has recalled "one lot of whole cantaloupes because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

One lot must be a lot because there were enough cantaloupes to fulfill the needs of Walmart Supercenter Stores in North Carolina and South Carolina, and in the

 Here are the highlights of an update just posted from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the sprout-caused Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that has impacted at least 14 states:

  •  A preliminary report of the investigation is available from CDC’s, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, MMWR adobe portable document format icon [PDF – 114 KB].
  • Since February 2009, 235 persons from 14 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul. Patients range in age from < 1 to 85 years old with reports of 3% persons hospitalized and no deaths.
  • Collaborative investigative efforts of many local, state, and federal public health, agriculture and regulatory agencies led to the implication of alfalfa sprouts.
  • The alfalfa sprouts were produced at several sprout growers and appear to involve only seeds sold by one seed company that originated from one grower which strongly suggests that the seeds were contaminated.
  • This outbreak may indicate a need to determine how well existing FDA guidance is being implemented (since it is voluntary), as well as to explore additional studies of measures that can be taken to prevent, detect, and eliminate contamination of seeds and sprouts.
  • FDA and CDC continue to recommend that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until further notice because the product has been linked to Salmonella serotype Saintpaul contamination. Other types of sprouts have not been implicated.

 Cases Infected with the Outbreak Strain of Salmonella Saintpaul Via Alfalfa Sprouts

United States, by State, as of May 7, 2009 (n=235)

A map displaying cases infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul in the United States of America, by state, as of May 7, 2009.

As of May 7, 2009, 235 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul have been reported from 14 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Nebraska (111), Iowa (35), South Dakota (38), Michigan (19), Kansas (8), Pennsylvania (7), Minnesota (5), Ohio (3), Illinois (2), Virginia (2), West Virginia (2), Florida (1), North Carolina (1), and Utah (1).


Continue Reading FDA Updates Its Alfalfa Sprout Investigation And Continues To Ban Their Consumption; Tells About The Seeds of Destruction

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be getting to the bottom of the problem of contaminated sprouts.   And, the very bottom appears to be the seeds.   FDA issued this statement late yesterday:

Preliminary epidemiology regarding the ongoing outbreak of illness from Salmonella Saintpaul in people who had eaten alfalfa sprouts was