Omaha Public Radio News
12:36 am
Tue March 3, 2009

Samonella cases linked to alfalfa sprouts

Omaha, NE – An outbreak of salmonella in the Omaha metro area has been linked to alfalfa sprouts.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that the 14-confirmed cases are linked to sprouts grown by CW Sprouts of Omaha. The sprouts are marketed under the name Sun Sprouts and went to restaurants and grocery stores.

Dr. Joann Schaefer is Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer. She says there are four probable cases and 8 to 10 suspect ones in addition to those confirmed last week. Douglas County has eight of the 14 cases. Sarpy County has four, with Cass and Lancaster Counties each reporting one case.

Iowa Department of Public Health spokeswoman Polly Carver-Kimm says five cases have been confirmed there with four pending. She says their investigation began last Friday. Iowa's cases are spread throughout the state.

Dr. Schaefer says CW Sprouts is cooperating with investigators and voluntarily recalling their products. The strain linked to the alfalfa sprouts is called salmonella saintpaul. It's a rare form of salmonella that causes fever, aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.