Washington health officials believe clover sprouts are connected to an outbreak of Salmonella Newport that’s sickened four people in our state and two in Oregon.

The outbreak has been tied to clover sprouts from Sprouters Northwest, Inc., of 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 “Clover Sprouts,” or as mixed varieties that contain clover sprouts as an ingredient with “best by” dates of 01/16/2011 or earlier (see list, below).

People shouldn’t eat any products from Sprouters Northwest that contain clover sprouts. Discard them immediately or return them to the store.

The Washington cases of Salmonella Newport occurred in mid-December among residents of Benton, King, Kitsap, and Grays Harbor counties. None has required hospitalization.

Salmonellosis is a common infection; about 650 to 850 cases are usually reported each year in our state. It can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Symptoms usually develop within one to five days after eating contaminated food. Most people usually get better on their own.

The recalled sprouts were distributed to grocery stores and restaurants in Washington and other Northwest states.

The Department of Health urges markets, restaurants, and delicatessens to check their stock immediately and pull all of the recalled products. Retailers and wholesalers who have any of the recalled sprouts should separate them from other produce and contact their supplier.

People who have eaten sprouts and developed symptoms should contact their health care provider. Salmonellosis can cause serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The risk is particularly high for the elderly, people with low immune systems, and the very young.

Specific products subject to the voluntary recall included:

· The 4oz. (UPC 8 15098 00201 6) and 5oz. (UPC 0 33383 70235 3) containers of Clover sprouts

· The 1lb. bags of Clover (UPC 0 79566 12351 5) and 2 lb trays of Clover (UPC 0 79566 12362 1)

· Clover Onion sprouts in 4oz. (UPC 0 79566 12361 4) and 5oz. (UPC 0 79566 12361 4) containers

· Deli sprouts in 4oz. (UPC 8 79566 12305 4) and 5oz. (UPC 0 33383 70267 4) containers

· Spicy sprouts in 4oz. (UPC 8 15098 00202 3) containers

· Brocco sandwich sprouts in 4oz. (UPC 8 15098 00028 9) containers