The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked a multistate Salmonella Muenchen outbreak and alfalfa sprouts that has infected 13 people in the US.
The number of individuals infected in each state is as follows: Kansas (5), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (3), and Pennsylvania (2).
Although no deaths have occurred in this outbreak, five of the sick people have been hospitalized. People who are infected are between the ages of 18 and 73. The first symptom of the illness began on December 1, 2015.
‘In the United States, salmonella is responsible for 1 million cases of foodborne illness every year, including 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.’
The symptoms of a salmonella infection such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, usually develop between 12 and 72 hours after the exposure.
Health officials in the affected states together with federal officials are working to identify the source of the outbreak, which they believe to be alfalfa sprouts produced by Inman, Kansas-based Sweetwater Farms.
"Laboratory testing isolated salmonella from samples of irrigation water and alfalfa sprouts collected during a recent inspection at Sweetwater Farms," said the CDC website.
During interviews with case patients as part of the outbreak investigation, 10 of 12 people reported eating sprouts or menu items containing sprouts in the week before becoming ill.
Nine of them reported eating alfalfa sprouts. One of them identified that the sprouts were purchased at a grocery store.
According to the CDC, Sweetwater Farms supplied the sprouts to five restaurant locations where sick people had eaten.
Health officials have warned that it is unsafe to consume alfalfa sprouts from Sweetwater Farms.