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Alfalfa sprout recall tied to salmonella outbreak expanded

A Nebraska company on Friday expanded a recall of alfalfa sprouts after 15 cases of salmonella were linked to the food.

SunSprouts Enterprises doubled its recall that was first announced Thursday, Nebraska health officials said. The 1,406 pounds (638 kilograms) of raw sprouts was distributed in 4-ounce and 2.5-pound (113-gram and 1.13-kilogram) packages to food service and grocery customers in the Midwest between late November and mid-December.

The recalled sprouts have best-by dates between Dec. 10, 2022, and Jan. 7, 2023.

People who have the sprouts are advised to dispose of them.

Of the 15 confirmed cases in which people became ill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said two were hospitalized. Eight cases were reported in Nebraska, six in South Dakota and one in Oklahoma.

The CDC said there likely are many more cases among people who didn't seek medical care.

Nearly 1.4 million Americans are infected with salmonella bacteria each year, including 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths, with food the major source of the illnesses, according to federal health data. 

People who fall ill due to salmonella infection typically include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can take anywhere between six hours and six days to manifest and usually last four to seven days.

Infections are detected via a laboratory test of a person's stool, body tissue or fluids. Most people recover without clinical treatment, but those with a severe case may requirer antibiotics, according to the CDC.

Although salmonella illnesses are often linked to the consumption of chicken and other meat, bacteria can also be spread by other foods, including vegetables. In 2021, for example, fresh onions imported from Mexico were identified as the source of a salmonella outbreak across at least 37 states.

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