The CDC has declared that the outbreak of E. coli linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack and The Green Sprouts is over. The outbreak was first announced a month ago, when 9 people were reported to be sick. The final case count of the outbreak is 11 cases of E. coli poisoning. All 11 cases of illness occurred in either Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minnesota was harder hit, with 8 reported cases compared to Wisconsin’s 3 cases. Two of the cases required hospitalization. There were no reported cases of HUS and no reported deaths. All 11 cases appeared in a one month period, from January 17th to February 17th.
Jack and the Green Sprouts was linked to the outbreak after an investigation by health officials revealed that the majority of ill people ate alfalfa sprouts from retail and restaurant locations that sold Jack and the Green Sprouts products. The Minnesota Department of Health issued an advisory warning against eating the alfalfa sprouts on February 24, 2016. The next day, Jack and the Bean Sprouts issued a recall for their alfalfa and alfalfa onion sprout products. Recalled products were sold in clear plastic clamshells and were marked with brightly colored, circular labels. By this point, all recalled products are passed their expiration date.
E. coli bacteria can be found in a large variety of environments. Many strains of the bacteria exist, and some are even beneficial to humans. However, some strains of E. coli produce Shiga toxins, which can cause illness in humans. If infected, E. coli bacteria will begin to produce symptoms within 72 hours. E. coli poisoning will produce symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. E. coli bacteria may also cause a very serious ailment called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS damages red blood cells, which in turn can damage the kidneys. This kidney damage may be severe enough to cause the kidneys to fail. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of E. coli poisoning, contact a medical professional.