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UPDATE: February 16, 2011. FDA and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) conducted an inspection of Tiny Greens Organic Farm (Urbana, IL). FDA collected both product and environmental samples. All product samples tested by FDA tested negative for pathogens; one environmental sample tested positive for the Salmonella serotype involved in the outbreak. Through genetic testing this positive sample was found to be indistinguishable from the outbreak strain, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis with two enzymes.  FDA's inspection at Tiny Greens resulted in an FDA-483 (a notice of inspectional observations) being issued to Tiny Greens for several conditions that created a significant risk of cross-contamination of Tiny Greens product. Tiny Greens is continuing to work with FDA in addressing such issues.

 

UPDATE: FDA and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) conducted an inspection of Tiny Greens Organic Farm. FDA collected both product and environmental samples. Thus far, product samples tested by FDA are negative. One environmental (water run-off) sample tested positive for the Salmonella serotype involved in the outbreak. Through genetic testing this positive sample is indistinguishable from the outbreak strain, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis with one enzyme. Additional genetic testing is underway. Tiny Greens Organic Farm continues to cooperate with FDA and IDPH in addressing this public health issue. The firm has committed to taking full corrective and preventive action including ceasing production. FDA's inspection remains open, and the Agency's on-going oversight will include assuring that corrective actions are implemented before distribution resumes.
 

FDA PRESS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release: Dec 27, 2010
Media Inquiries: FDA Office of Media Affairs, 301-796-4540, fdaoma@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
 
FDA: Don’t Eat Certain Lots of Tiny Greens Brand Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts
Sprouts may contain Salmonella
 
UPDATE: On Dec. 29, 2010, Tiny Greens Organic Farm announced a recall of the following products:
 
  • Alfalfa Sprouts in all package sizes with lot codes 305 through 348 or “sell by” dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10
  • Alfalfa Sprouts in all package sizes with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of 12/29/10, 12/31/10 or 1/04/11
  • Spicy Sprouts in 4 oz. containers with lot codes 305 through 348 or “sell by” dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10
  • Spicy Sprouts in 4 oz. containers with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of 12/29/10, 12/31/10 or 1/04/11
 
Fast Facts
  • The FDA is advising consumers not to eat recalled Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts (which contain alfalfa sprouts mixed with radish and clover sprouts) from Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill. The sprouts were distributed in 4 oz. and 5 lb. containers to various customers, including farmers’ markets, restaurants and groceries, in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states.
  • Preliminary results of the investigation of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections indicate a link to eating Tiny Greens’ Alfalfa Sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurant outlets.
  • The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
  • Consumers should not eat recalled Tiny Greens’ Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts. Consumers, retailers and others who have Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.
 
What is the Problem?
 
Tiny Greens Organic Farm’s Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts have been preliminarily linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections. The sprouts were distributed to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and may also have been distributed to other Midwestern states. Approximately half of the illnesses occurred in Illinois, where nearly all of the ill individuals ate sandwiches containing sprouts at various Jimmy John’s outlets. The CDC has posted epidemiological information about this outbreak at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/i4512i-/.
 
Jimmy John’s has stopped serving sprouts on its sandwiches at all Illinois locations.
 
What are the symptoms of illness/injury?
 
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four  to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, some individuals may require hospitalization from severe diarrhea. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites. It can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection.
 
Who Is at Risk?
 
The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection. The bacterium can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in these vulnerable populations. Most healthy individuals recover from Salmonella infections within four to seven days without treatment.
 
What Do Consumers and Restaurant Operators Need To Do?
 
Consumers should not eat recalled Tiny Greens brand Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts. Restaurant and food service operators should not serve them. Consumers, retailers and others who have Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts should throw them away in a sealed container.
 
Consumers who think they may have become ill from eating contaminated sprouts should consult their health care providers.
 
Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. Since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli. The FDA advises that children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts). To reduce the chance of foodborne illness, FDA advises consumers to cook sprouts thoroughly and to request raw sprouts not be added to your food.
 
What Does the Product Look Like?
 
  • Alfalfa Sprouts in all package sizes with lot codes 305 through 348 or “sell by” dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10
  • Alfalfa Sprouts in all package sizes with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of 12/29/10, 12/31/10 or 1/04/11
  • Spicy Sprouts in 4 oz. containers with lot codes 305 through 348 or “sell by” dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10
  • Spicy Sprouts in 4 oz. containers with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of 12/29/10, 12/31/10 or 1/04/11
 
Where is it Distributed?
 
The sprouts were distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states.
  
What is Being Done About the Problem?
 
FDA is investigating the problem in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and other states and is working with Tiny Greens. Jimmy John’s restaurants have voluntarily suspended serving sprouts at their Illinois franchise locations.
 
The information in this press release reflects the FDA’s best efforts to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and the state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available.
 
For more information:
 

Tiny Greens recall notice: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm238417.htm

Foodsafety.gov:

http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/salmonella.html

CDC on Salmonella: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/

CDC on sprouts: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/press_r/taormina.htm

 
 
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