Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sprouts and Food Poisoning



We all want to keep our family safe from illness. Food can be a source of contamination if not prepared properly. 

In the Washington Post this week there was an article about food borne illness and contamination attorney. He has represented many clients over the years that have become sick or family members who have died from food contamination. 

Bill Marler has become quite an expert on food poisoning. He listed six foods he no longer eats risk of eating them is simply too large. A popular food storage item showed up on the list. 

Raw Sprouts.

Bill Marler states,
Raw sprouts. Uncooked and lightly cooked sprouts have been linked to more than 30 bacterial outbreaks (mostly of salmonella and E. coli) in the US since mid-1990s. As recently as 2014, salmonella from bean sprouts sent 19 people to the hospital. All types of sprouts—including alfalfa, mung bean, clover and radish sprouts—can spread infection, which is caused by bacterial contamination of their seeds. “There have been too many outbreaks to not pay attention to the risk of sprout contamination,” He did add that he does eat them if they’re cooked.

He continues..."Children, the elderly, and persons whose immune systems are not functioning well should not eat raw sprouts, because current treatments of seeds and sprouts cannot get rid of all bacteria present."

"Although sprouts are often considered a "health food," the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels without affecting the appearance of the sprouts."

"Researchers have treated both seeds and sprouts with heat or washed them in solutions of chlorine, alcohol, and other chemicals. Some of these disinfectants reduced the levels of bacteria, but a potential hazard remained, especially for persons with weak immune systems. High temperatures that would kill the bacteria on the seeds would also keep them from sprouting. Until an effective way is found to prevent illness from sprouts, they should be eaten with caution, if at all."
This should be taken into consideration, in your food storage items. Especially if you have a sprouting kit that you only plan to use in case of emergencies. This could be a great health risk to your family if you are unfamiliar with sprouting. If an expert is saying his is unwilling to eat this food because of the threat, I am going to listen!

4 comments:

Mrs. said...

If you grow your own this issue is not present. There are several online companies that offer quality seeds and even offer tutorials to help you get started. I think the nutrition is important enough to learn to grow your own sprouts.

Linda said...

He said "the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish." It seems the conditions to grow them are the very conditions that help bacteria grow.

Emergency Essentials has a whole section on the danger of growing sprouts.

Mrs. said...

An attorney is an expert in suing over contaminated sprouts not in how to grow them at home. If you looked into how they are commercially grown you'd know this.

Linda said...

I do not mean to offend. You are welcome to grow sprouts. In my research I have learned that it is only slightly safer to grow sprouts at home. The procedure is the same: Soak, rinse, grow. The home sprouter is subject to the same concerns as the commercial operation. You can follow the link if you are interested in the food attorney. He as represented many cases and he really has become an expert in the area of contamination and food illness. Thanks for your comments!