March 2, 2016

FDA investigating salmonella outbreak linked to Sweetwater Farms

The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen illnesses linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms LLC of Inman, Kansas.

The CDC reports that 13 people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Muenchen in four states: Kansas (5), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (3), and Pennsylvania (2). Five people have been hospitalized. Reported illness onset dates range from Dec. 1, 2015 through Jan. 21.

Collaborative investigation efforts of the FDA, CDC, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Department of Agriculture, and Oklahoma Department of Health indicate that sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms LLC are the likely source of this outbreak, the FDA said. Irrigation water and alfalfa sprout samples collected by the FDA from Sweetwater Farms LLC tested positive for Salmonella.  Testing to identify the specific strain of Salmonella is ongoing.

On Feb. 19, after discussions with the FDA and other federal, state, and local agencies, Sweetwater Farms LLC voluntarily recalled alfalfa sprouts from lot 042016. On Feb. 26, Sweetwater Farms informed the FDA that it would recall all of its sprout products from the market. The FDA is working with the company and Kansas officials to facilitate this action.  This investigation is ongoing. The FDA will continue to provide updates on the investigation as they become available.

For more information, visit the FDA’s Salmanella announcement web page.

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