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 Muenchen Associated with Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts were first linked to Salmonella Muenchen illnesses in Wisconsin in September. Eventually six other states detected Salmonella Muenchen illnesses related to alfalfa sprout consumption. The food histories of the first 16 case patients were traced back to Wisconsin sprout distributors A, B, and C and to Wisconsin sprouters A and B. The Wisconsin sprouters routinely disinfected sprouts according to a then recommended procedure. Environmental samples from Wisconsin sprouters A and B yielded no bacterial isolates. Sprout samples yielded S. Arizona and S. Muenchen. A FDA researcher had unexpectedly found S. Muenchen in alfalfa seed from seed lot COA98. This seed had been distributed to 33 sprouters in 10 states. The distribution of the seed corresponded with where illness had occurred.

  • Outbreak began:
  • August 1999
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Wisconsin, Washington, Michigan, Idaho, Missouri, Nevada
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Sprouts, Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery stores, Delis
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Unknown
  • Total ill:
  • 157
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 157
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 6
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown

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