Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Alfalfa Sprouts from Kent

State health officials believe locally grown alfalfa sprouts are linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis that has sickened 13 people in Washington and Oregon.

Sprouters Northwest in Kent has voluntarily recalled its products containing alfalfa sprouts, according to the Washington state Department of Health.

The first cases of the salmonella poisoning were reported in early August. People in Clark, Island, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties have been sickened, and at least two required hospitalization, according to the health department. Four people in Oregon have also gotten sick.

The recalled sprouts were distributed to groceries and other retail outlets in Washington and Oregon. The health department is urging restaurants and delis to check their stock for the recalled sprouts and to contact their suppliers.

People should discard or return any products from Sprouters Northwest that contain alfalfa sprouts.

Salmonella poisoning can cause diarrhea, fever and vomiting within one to five days after eating contaminated food, according to the health department.

Most people recover on their own, but some cases lead to serious illness, hospitalization and even death. The risk is particularly high for the elderly, the very young and people with weakened immune systems.