Sprouter expands recall because of listeria threat

02/04/2013 10:45:00 AM
Coral Beach

(For additional information, please see “UPDATED: Listeria prompts recall of sprouts in U.S., Canada”)

Sprouters Northwest, Kent, Wash.(UPDATED COVERAGE, Feb. 7) The Kent, Wash., sprout grower that recalled about a ton of various fresh sprouts Jan. 28 expanded the recall twice to include an unknown quantity of all of its products, including wheatgrass and pea shoots, because of possible listeria contamination.

No illnesses have been reported in connection to the possible contamination.

In the third recall notice, the grower expanded the action to include products distributed in Idaho and added two brands: Brassica brand names and Trader Joe’s organic pea shoots.

Sprouters Northwest officials did not explain in the expanded recall notices whether additional products had tested positive. The Washington State Department of Agriculture sampled products collected at retail and found positive results for listeria, prompting the initial recall.

The expanded recall notice,  on the Food and Drug Administration website, says the products were distributed through Jan. 30 and have various expiration dates through Feb. 17.

Joe Campbell, general manager of Sprouters Northwest, did not return calls seeking comment.

The products under recall in the U.S. and Canada are: “3-Bean Munchie,” alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, broccoli sprouts, “Brocco Sandwich” sprouts, clover sprouts, deli sprouts, spicy sprouts, wheatgrass and/or pea shoots.

Distribution included retailers and foodservice operations in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and British Columbia in Canada. The Sprouters Northwest and LifeForce brands are included in the initial recall.

The affected products are packaged in plastic clamshells, plastic cups, plastic trays in 3-, 4-  and 5-ounce sizes and in plastic 1-, 2- and 5-pound bags.

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a concerned consumer (part 1)    
February, 04, 2013 at 08:25 PM

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a concerned consumer (part 2)    
February, 04, 2013 at 08:27 PM

-panded is a reflection of the management culture and alliance's handling of such affairs. Source: http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-news/Sprouter-expands-recall-because-of-listeria-threat-189671391.html California Sprouts How do you go from making an official public press release for your whole industry confidently stating that alliance members have proven that sprouts can be grown safely to saying oops nevermind in a matter of a few months? Maybe because the 'Science' part of the alliance hasn't been figured out yet. Source: http://sproutalliance.org/science.html "We formed the alliance because our member companies have proven sprouts can be grown safely if companies are dedicated to following rigorous food safety practices." -Steffanie Smith, 11/16/2012 Source: http://www.thepacker.com/commodity-vegetables/sprouts/Letter-Sprout-safety-issue-requires-industry-reinforcement-179664631.html “We continue to be close. It was a much bigger undertaking than we thought. We are meeting regularly and hope to be finished soon.” -Steffanie Smith, 1/29/2013 Source: http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-news/Listeria-prompts-recall-of-sprouts-in-US-Canada-188846681.html Friends Trading Company Go to their website, http://www.friendstradingcompany.com/, and click on products at the top. Look at the right column. Looks familiar doesn't it? What you'll find are the brands Brocco Sprouts and Life Force Sprouts, both of which do not have any facilities when googled, but supposedly simply serve as brand labels to sell under. Having different names for the same product is apparently an established practice (see above).

a concerned consumer (part 3)    
February, 04, 2013 at 08:32 PM

Pearson & Sprout Extraordinare These members of the alliance are no exception as they have also experienced recalls in the past which were also sold under different brands (i.e. "Living Sprouts"). Source: http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/perhaps-after-three-sprout-outbreaks-jimmy-johns-should-reconsider-what-it-puts-on-your-sandwiches/#.URBTQOhdXx4 http://www.foodsafety.ksu.edu/en/news-details.php?a=4&c=30&sc=218&id=13422 Sun Sprout 54 consumers in 5 states suffered food poisoning. Their labels are nearly identical to Life Force labels. Are they even trying!? Sun Sprout & Life Force label comparison: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ArchiveRecalls/2009/ucm128945.htm http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-news/Listeria-prompts-recall-of-sprouts-in-US-Canada-188846681.html Source: http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/salmonella-outbreak-linked-to-sprouts-3083/ The Vista Institute “The sprouting industry knows how to produce safe sprouts,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sholl, President of The Vista Institute. “Problems occur when a sprouter doesn’t comply with safe growing practices. We wanted to form an alliance of growers that are not only prepared and dedicated to complying with government guidelines, but able to meet additional rigorous standards that the Sprout Alliance for Safety and Science are developing.” Alliance Members will be required to adopt a verification system to ensure compliance. Source: http://sproutalliance.org/news_release-102012.html

a concerned consumer (part 4)    
February, 04, 2013 at 08:34 PM

Apparently in light of the very recent listeria recall of one of it's founding members, they do not know how to produce safe sprouts. Simply go to their website, http://thevistainstitute.com/, and I think it is clear that there could be a conflict of interest between their food safety goals and their branding services. I tried to do my very best in investigating and doing my due diligence in sourcing and presenting the facts. Is this trade association just one big, nationwide conglomerate putting up the facade of being made up of a diversity of companies? You be the judge.

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