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Two Bean Sprout Listeria Outbreaks Are Over, Says CDC

January 27, 2015 — Two outbreaks of food poisoning linked to raw bean sprouts have been declared over, according to updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Today, the CDC closed their investigation into an outbreak of Listeria that hospitalized five people, including two who died. The illnesses were reported in Illinois and Michigan between June and August 2014.

Investigators isolated strains of Listeria monocytogenes from the sick individuals and matched those strains with samples collected at a bean sprout facility in Chicago, Illinois, operated by Wholesome Soy Products, Inc.

Unsanitary conditions were documented during several inspections of the facility, including pest problems, mold-like growth on the walls, and employee practices that could contaminate bean sprouts.

Wholesome Soy Products closed their facility in November 2014 and the CDC believes the outbreak is over because the products have a 5-days shelf life and are no longer available for consumption.

Simultaneously, another outbreak of food poisoning was linked to bean sprouts from Brooklyn-based Wonton Foods, Inc. That outbreak of Salmonella infected 115 people in twelve states, according to an update posted January 23 by the CDC.

Health officials warn that bean sprouts are a common source of food poisoning because they are often eaten raw and grown in warm, moist conditions in which bacteria thrives. Dozens of outbreaks of food poisoning have been linked to bean sprouts in the last few years.

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