FDA Warns Not to Eat Tiny Greens' Sprouts


The FDA has issued an advisory warning consumers not to eat Tiny Greens Organic Farm’s Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts (which contain alfalfa sprouts mixed with radish and clover sprouts). Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill distributed the sprouts in 4 oz. and 5 lb. containers to various customers, including farmers’ markets, restaurants and groceries, in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states.

Tiny Greens Organic Farm’s Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts have been linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections in preliminary investigations. Approximately half of the illnesses occurred in Illinois, where nearly all of the ill individuals ate sandwiches containing sprouts at various Jimmy John’s outlets. Jimmy John’s has stopped serving sprouts on its sandwiches at all Illinois locations.

Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. There have been at least 30 reported outbreaks since 1996 associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most were caused by Salmonella and E. coli.

The FDA advises that children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts). To reduce the chance of foodborne illness, it is advised that sprouts be cooked thoroughly. Request raw sprouts not be added to your food.


Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after coming into contact with the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most persons recover without treatment.

The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. Severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration and hospitalization. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The FDA is advising consumers not to eat Tiny Greens brand Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts. Restaurant and food service operators have been advised they should not serve them. Consumers, retailers and others who have Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts should throw them away in a sealed container.

If you think you may have become ill from eating contaminated sprouts, you should consult your health care provider.

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