Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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1996 Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo Linked Alfalfa Sprouts

A northern California sprout grower was linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo. This same sprouter was associated with a simultaneous outbreak of Salmonella Meleagridis involving its alfalfa and mixed sprouts. Salmonella Montevideo was never isolated from the implicated sprouts. The sprout grower used soil and did not disinfect the seeds prior to sprouting. The sprouter had recently begun periodic laboratory testing of sprouts. Prior to this outbreak, the laboratory had reported the presence of Salmonella, but the sprouter took no action. The alfalfa seeds had been harvested from a farm in Southern California that had fertilized the plants with uncomposted chicken manure and watered the plants with nonpotable canal water. Animal fecal matter was present around these fields which was found to be contaminated with other strains of Salmonella.

  • Outbreak began:
  • May 1996
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Sprouts, Alfalfa
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Unknown
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Many
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Unknown
  • Total ill:
  • 417
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 417
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 10
  • Any Deaths:
  • Yes
  • Number Dead:
  • 1
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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