October 25, 2012 — The largest grocery store chain in the United States, Kroger Inc., announced that they will no longer be selling bean sprouts in any of their 2,400 stores due to a “potential food safety risk.” According to Kroger, current manufacturing practices cannot ensure the safety of bean sprouts due to the way they are grown. In the last few years, there have been dozens of outbreaks of food poisoning linked to the sprouts.
Bean sprouts will no longer be sold at any Kroger supermarket, including City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralph’s, and Smith’s. A Kroger spokeswoman reported that the stores have sold their remaining stocks of bean sprouts. The products have already been removed from stores. Kroger joins another major grocery chain, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which quietly stopped selling bean sprouts back in 2010.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that bean sprouts have been implicated in 46 outbreaks of food poisoning from 1990 – 2010. The majority of these outbreaks were due to salmonella contamination. However, more serious E. coli and Listeria outbreaks have also been linked to the sprouts.
It is difficult for suppliers to ensure the safety of bean sprouts due to the way they are grown. The seeds are sprouted in hot, humid conditions, where bacteria also thrive. If the seeds themselves are contaminated, the salmonella bacteria can grow inside the seed itself. This makes decontaminating the produce difficult or impossible.
Many bean sprout packages already contain warnings that children, the elderly, and pregnant women should avoid eating the products. Salmonella food poisoning (“salmonellosis”) is most serious for these vulnerable populations, and even deadly in some cases. The bacteria grows in the intestines of animals and humans, and is easily transmitted to food from contaminated water, manufacturing equipment, poor agriculture practices, poor hand-washing techniques, and more.
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The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting food poisoning induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by salmonella food poisoning, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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