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12/09/18: Public warned of Salmonella outbreak in Adelaide traced to raw alfalfa sprouts

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A Salmonella outbreak in an Australian state linked to alfalfa sprouts has eight confirmed cases. Testing of the retail product confirmed Salmonella presence in a variety of alfalfa sprout products.

South Australians have been warned not to eat a number of alfalfa sprout products made by the Adelaide-based business Sunshine Sprouts after people became ill with Salmonella Oranienburg.

SA Health’s acting executive director public health services, Dr Chris Lease, said there had been a spike in cases of Salmonella Oranienburg, with eight in the past month, compared with eight attributed to that Salmonella variety in all of 2017.

“As part of the investigation into these cases, 116 alfalfa sprout products were sampled as two cases had reported eating these types of products. Results … identified that Salmonella Oranienburg was present in three of these samples,” Lease said.

“A number of Sunshine Sprout’s alfalfa sprouts products have already been voluntarily recalled and we are advising anyone who has purchased the affected products not to eat them, and to return them to the place of purchase for a refund or throw them away. We also want to alert cafes and restaurants to check their suppliers and not serve any of the affected Sunshine Sprouts alfalfa sprout products until further notice.”

Lease said the investigation is ongoing with the producer and suppliers.

There have been 932 cases of Salmonella infection reported to SA Health this year, compared to 1,013 at the same time last year and 1,430 for all of 2017.

Sunshine Sprouts issued a recall of products sold in plastic containers with use-by dates of Sept. 9 through Sept. 16. Products are sold at Coles, Foodland, IGA and numerous greengrocers in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

In June this year, SA Health reported 21 cases of Salmonella Havana traced to alfalfa sprouts produced by Adelaide business SA Sprouts. Seven people were hospitalized. A joint investigation between SA Health, local government and Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA) linked the cases to the alfalfa sprouts.

In mid-2016, SA Health recalled Sunshine Sprouts and Star Tu Chinese Bean Sprouts because of microbial Salmonella Saintpaul contamination. Sunshine Sprouts was a packer of Star Tu products. The outbreak sickened around 350 people in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said food products contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed. It advised consumers concerned about their health to seek medical advice and return products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

People can experience symptom onset of Salmonella infections between six and 72 hours after exposure and symptoms usually last for three to seven days. They include fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps and loss of appetite.

Names of recalled products:

  • White Alfalfa 125g; 250g and 1kg
  • Green Alfalfa 125g
  • Alfalfa and Radish 125g
  • Alfalfa and Cabbage 125g
  • Alfalfa and Onion 125g
  • Alfalfa and Garlic 125g
  • Alfalfa and Mustard 125g
  • Alfalfa and Broccoli 125g
  • Gourmet Pak 100g

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