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Emerg Infect Dis. 1999 Sep-Oct; 5(5): 626–634.
PMCID: PMC2627711

Infections associated with eating seed sprouts: an international concern.

Abstract

Recent outbreaks of Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with raw seed sprouts have occurred in several countries. Subjective evaluations indicate that pathogens can exceed 107 per gram of sprouts produced from inoculated seeds during sprout production without adversely affecting appearance. Treating seeds and sprouts with chlorinated water or other disinfectants fails to eliminate the pathogens. A comprehensive approach based on good manufacturing practices and principles of hazard analysis and critical control points can reduce the risk of sprout-associated disease. Until effective measures to prevent sprout-associated illness are identified, persons who wish to reduce their risk of foodborne illness from raw sprouts are advised not to eat them; in particular, persons at high risk for severe complications of infections with Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7, such as the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems, should not eat raw sprouts.

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Articles from Emerging Infectious Diseases are provided here courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention