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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1999 Outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka Linked to Consumption of Hydro Harvest Ltd Alfalfa Sprouts

Contaminated alfalfa sprout seeds from California were implicated in an outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka. The seeds were sprouted by five sprout producers and then sold. Only sprouts from two of the sprout producers resulted in illness. The sprouter that was linked to illnesses in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho was Hydro Harvest Ltd., a company that was located in Washington state. A sprouter in California was linked to all of the California illnesses. The three sprouters who had used contaminated seed, but were not associated with illness, had adequately disinfected their seed. Salmonella was found in the alfalfa sprouts and in the seeds, and matched the Salmonella strain that was obtained from ill persons. The investigators recommended that Hydro Harvest Ltd. decontaminate the facility and production equipment, increase the amount of chlorine used to disinfect seed, and create procedures to prevent future contamination of seeds.

  • Outbreak began:
  • January 1999
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Sprouts, Alfalfa
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery stores
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 89
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 89
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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