12:06pm

Wed December 29, 2010
Shots - Health News Blog

Salmonella Pops Up In Sprouts, Cilantro And Parsley

Enough already. Will the contamination of food we thought was healthy ever stop?

Turns out that alfalfa sprouts, practically the poster child for health foods, can make you sick. The Food and Drug Administration says you shoudn't eat sprouts from Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill. Stay way from the company's organically grown alfalfa sprouts and its line of Spicy Sprouts, a mix that includes radish and clover sprouts.

The Tiny Greens sprouts have been "preliminarily linked," in the FDA's lingo, to a big outbreak of salmonella that has so far sickened nearly 100 people, mostly in the Midwest. See the map of cases put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

A lot of the sickening sprouts made their way into sandwiches sold by the Jimmy John's chain. The FDA says the company isn't serving sandwiches with sprouts anymore in Illinois, where the majority of salmonella cases have been reported.

Sprouts have been a problem for quite a while. In May, another multistate salmonella outbreak was tied to sprouts from a California company, which recalled its products. The feds have advised people for years to avoid eating uncooked sprouts, which have been involved in a string of recalls and disease outbreaks.

Separately, but also quite yuckily, a Texas company is recalling a whole lot of cilantro, parsley (the curly-leafed kind) and other produce after some tests found salmonella. The stuff is sold under the brand "Little Bear." J&D Produce, the distributor of the food, said it hasn't received reports of anybody getting sick from eating the potentially contaminated food.

Earlier this year, CDC researchers reported that salsa and guacamole, which we love to load up with cilantro, are significant sources of foodborne illness in this country.

Update: There's more info on the affected J&D products in this release on the FDA's website. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.