Sprouters Northwest, a company which packages and distributes a variety of sprouts under that name as well as LifeForce and Brassica, has issued a voluntary recall as of 02-06-13, of some of their products. (This information has been upgraded since that initial date.) Trader Joe’s also has some of the infected food (Organic Pea Shoots--SKU 92756), packaged in clamshell containers. These have been found only available in TJ’s outlets in Oregon and Washington. The items involved are all of Sprouters Northwest’s sprouts, wheatgrass and pea shoots. These foods have been found to be contaminated by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially lethal microorganism. The best before dates on all affected packages are February 16, 2013.
Specific packages include the following names: 3-Bean Munchie, Alfalfa, Bean, Broccoli, Clover, Deli, Brocco Sandwich sprouts, Spicy, Wheatgrass, and Pea Shoots. These were distributed through the thirtieth of January of this year, in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington state, and British Columbia (Canada). So far it has not been determined that any of the products were sent to California.
Although those at most risk of death from the bacteria are those who are elderly, very young such as babies, and those with a compromised immune system, anyone may become severely ill. Symptoms typically consist of diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, stiff joints, headache—generally those which may frequently be mistaken for influenza both by patients and medical staff. Without proper treatment, therefore, those suffering from listeria contamination could worsen and die. In some cases with pregnant women, stillbirth or miscarriage also may result.
Although those who normally would not go to a physician or who lack insurance may be reluctant to seek attention in such as case, they would do best to go to an Emergency Room should they find themselves suffering from possible listeria poisoning. Ginger may help with mild nausea but cannot stem the spread of this bacterial contamination. As always, wash all produce in running cold water before use and wash your hands thoroughly after food handling and before eating. Since it is, as mentioned above, often that food poisoning is mistaken for flu, and this is the time of year for that disease, it may be difficult to discern the difference. Take no chances with your own health or that of others in your care. Bacterial infection, once it gets into your body, can spread rapidly; therefore it needs to be stopped immediately. Complementary methods such as drinking plenty of water, taking Vitamin C, and a variety of herbs to boost the immune system can help and should be taken all through flu season. However, in an emergency, this will help but not be enough. Get to an ER if vomiting, high fever or diarrhea continue more than a couple hours for adults, and as soon as possible for babies, small children and the elderly or chronically ill.
For more information you can call the company: Sprouters Northwest, 1-253-872-0577, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., PST.
For more details online, see: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm338741.htm?source=govdelivery