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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2015-16 Salmonella Outbreak linked to Sweetwater Farms Alfalfa Sprouts

The FDA, CDC, and state and local officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen (25 persons) and Salmonella Kentucky (1 person) infections reported by 12 states. Eight people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. Among people for whom information was available, illnesses onsets ranged from November 26, 2015 to April 7, 2016. State and local public health officials interviewed ill people to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of the 22 ill people interviewed, 17 (77%) reported eating or possibly eating sprouts. When asked about the type of sprouts eaten 16 (94%) of these 17 ill people reported eating alfalfa sprouts. Investigators conducted a traceback and learned that Sweetwater Farms of Inman, Kansas supplied alfalfa sprouts to restaurants implicated in the outbreak. FDA and Kansas Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection at Sweetwater Farms and collected samples of irrigation water and alfalfa sprouts. Testing of these samples isolated Salmonella Kentucky and Salmonella Cubana. Salmonella Muenchen was not isolated. On February 16, 2016 Sweetwater Farms informed FDA that it would withdraw all of its sprout products form the market.

  • Outbreak began:
  • December 2015
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • New York, Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Unknown
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery Store, Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Sweetwater Farms
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 26
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 8
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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