An outbreak of Salmonella Newport that sickened 23 people in 10 states was linked to raw alfalfa sprouts in March of 2010. The CDC reported illnesses in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The producer, California-based Caldwell Fresh Foods, issued a nationwide recall. The sprouts were distributed for sale at a number of grocery stores and delicatessens, including Wal-Mart, Trader Joe's. The sprouts were sold under the brands Caldwell Fresh Foods, Nature's Choice, and California Exotics.
Marler Clark represented a client from California in a claim against Caldwell Fresh Foods. Her claim was resolved in 2011.
Sprouts have a long history of foodborne illness outbreaks. According to Marler Clark food safety expert Drew Falkenstein, raw sprouts have been linked to at least 37 outbreaks of Salmonella, E. coli, or Listeria monocytogenes since 1990. These 37 outbreaks have caused approximately 2,273 confirmed illnesses.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious (and sometimes fatal) infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with compromised immune systems. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection are fever, diarrhea (possibly bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.