Foodborne Illness Outbreak Hits At Least Two States, Sickens Several People

Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are carefully tracking a foodborne illness outbreak that has been linked to raw clover sprouts in two states. Investigators have partnered with other federal organizations, plus state and local representatives, to learn more about the extent of this outbreak.

It has been determined that the foodborne illness is connected with sprouts that came from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC, a company in Moyie Springs, Idaho. As of this Wednesday, there were seven confirmed cases of E. coli and three other likely cases. Three of the issues stemmed from Idaho, and seven originated in Washington state.

Although there have not yet been any fatalities associated with this foodborne illness outbreak, officials say half of the people affected by it required hospitalization. If you’re a resident of one of the identified states and wondering how to reduce your risk, it’s important to know that the tainted sprouts recalled as part of this foodborne illness threat were connected to Washington-area Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches retailers in King and Spokane Counties, as well as Pita Pit locations in Spokane.

Officials have not named other specific food outlets in Washington or Idaho, but did clarify that the manufacturer shipped products to more restaurants, as well as some grocery stores.

People affected by an illness caused by E.coli often experience severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Sometimes patients can also develop a specific type of kidney failure. Fortunately, that complication has not yet been linked to this foodborne illness outbreak.

According to Online News Heard Now, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging people not to eat the sprouts, especially if they have compromised immune systems. People who are very young or old are usually those most likely to become sickened by this type of foodborne illness outbreak.

Although sprouts are very popular with people who are trying to maintain healthy diets, they are also more common than some other foods to cause illness. That’s because they must be grown in warm and moist environments, and those are two characteristics that help bacteria to thrive.

Even though the illness has been connected with the problematic sprouts, the root cause is not yet known. With Memorial Day weekend upon us in the United States, this foodborne illness outbreak is a clear reminder of how important it is to prepare foods properly and stay abreast of any current recall information to get the latest updates.

[Image Credit: Food Poison Journal]

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