Nine people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0157(STEC 0157) have been reported in Minnesota (7) and Wisconsin (2). Two of these people have been hospitalized. There are no deaths at this time. Illnesses started from January 17, 2016 to February 8, 2016. Illnesses that occurred after February 16, 2016 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes from when a person becomes ill and when it is reported.
Investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory officials indicate that alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts of River Falls, Wisconsin are the likely source of this outbreak. These sprouts may be contaminated with STEC 0157 and are not safe to eat.
Of the eight people interviewed, all eight (100%) ill people reported eating or maybe eating alfalfa sprouts or menu items containing alfalfa sprouts in the week before they became ill.
State and local health and regulatory officials performed trace back investigations from seven different locations where ill people ate or bought alfalfa sprouts. These investigations indicated that Jack & The Green Sprouts supplied alfalfa sprouts to all seven locations.
"We recommend that consumers do not eat and restaurants and other retailers do not sell or serve alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts at this time."
The above information was posted to the CDC website at Thursday, February 25, at 3:45. On the Facebook page for Jack & The Green Sprouts, the company added the following comment by evening:
Out of abundant caution we are voluntarily recalling Alfalfa and Alfalfa Onion sprouts:
State health and agriculture officials are investigating an outbreak of food borne illness. Retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve alfalfa sprouts and consumers should not eat them at this time.
The do not however, admit that they seem to be the source of contamination saying:
The testing completed to date has not identified the source and the contamination is unknown. Health officials recommend not eating any alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts. Currently, there is no evidence that any products produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts are contaminated.
This is the second outbreak in less than a month that stems from sprouts and illness. As of February 23, 2016, Thirteen people are infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Muenchen in four states. Five people have been hospitalized, although no deaths have been reported. The likely source of this outbreak is from Sweetwater Farms, who supplied alfalfa sprouts to all five locations where people either ate or purchased their sprouts. Laboratory testing also isolated Salmonella from samples of irrigation water and sprouts collected during a recent inspection at Sweetwater Farms.
These two outbreaks do not seem to be related, according to the CDC.