(UPDATED COVERAGE, May 24) A California company has recalled alfalfa sprouts after the Food and Drug Administration linked the sprouts to more than 20 cases of Salmonella Newport in 10 states.

The sprouts, sold under the Caldwell Fresh Foods, Nature’s Choice and California Exotics brands were sold by Caldwell Fresh Foods, Maywood, Calif. The company issued the recall on May 21, according to a news release, because the sprouts were “associated” with the illnesses.

The company, however, released another statement on May 22, denying the link to its recall and the cases of salmonella.

“There are no confirmed reports that alfalfa sprouts from our facility have caused anyone to become ill” according to the statement. “As an extreme precaution — due to the possibility of an association with a foodborne illness, we have voluntarily recalled our alfalfa sprouts.”

The specific products recalled are:

  • Caldwell Fresh Foods sprouts, 4-ounce plastic cups and 1-pound plastic bags, and 2-pound and 5-pound plastic bags;
  • Nature’s Choice 4-ounce plastic cups; and
  • California Exotics 5-ounce clamshells.

The products were distributed to restaurants, delis and retailers across the country, according to a news release.

At least 10 people were diagnosed with Salmonella Newport. In California, the sprouts were delivered to Kings Super Market, Numero Uno Stores, Cardenas Markets, Trader Joe’s, Gonzalez Northgate Markets, Wal-Mart, Canton Foods and Jons Markets, according to the release.

Not all Caldwell alfalfa sprouts are involved in the recall. Sprouts that have a bright, round, green sticker on the lids and labels are unaffected in the recall.

In February 2008, J.H. Caldwell & Sons Inc., Maywood, recalled Nature's Choice alfalfa sprouts after consumers became ill with salmonella symptoms. No illnesses were linked to the company's product, however, in that outbreak.


UPDATED: California company recalls sprouts