Food Poisoning Risks of Consuming Raw Sprouts

Certain types of food pose a greater food poisoning risk to consumers than others. Generally, foods with organic sources, such as meat, dairy, and produce products are more likely to harbor dangerous bacteria than processed foods because they are not created in controlled facilities. This does not mean that they cannot harbor harmful bacteria. Any food or consumable product can cause an individual to suffer from food poisoning if it contains harmful bacteria or foreign objects.

One type of food that receives a lot of attention for its food poisoning hazard is raw sprouts. Sprouts can harbor E.Coli and Salmonella bacteria. In the past 20 years, sprouts have been linked to at least 30 food poisoning outbreaks.

Which Sprouts are Most Dangerous to Consume?

All types of seeds and beans are collectively known as sprouts. A few examples of commonly-consumed sprouts in the United States include:

  • Alfalfa;
  • Almonds;
  • Barley grass;
  • Wheatgrass;
  • Lentils;
  • Peas;
  • All types of bean; and
  • Chia seeds.

Any sprout that is not handled or stored in a sanitary manner can carry harmful bacteria. The bacteria can easily develop in the plant while it grows because sprouts need the same type of environment that bacteria needs; a warm, humid one.

In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law. It included guidelines specifically crafted to help the sprout industry prevent the contamination of its products to protect consumers from becoming ill.

How Can I Reduce My Chance of Becoming Ill from Eating Sprouts?

Sprouts are most dangerous when they are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Cooking sprouts thoroughly will significantly reduce your chance of suffering from foodborne illness because cooking kills harmful bacteria.

With any type of potentially-contaminated food, the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and young children are most susceptible to suffering the effects of food poisoning. If you fall into one of these categories or if you are a parent of a young child, be very careful when preparing sprouts in your home. Wash all fresh produce thoroughly and cook it at a sufficiently high temperature to kill any bacteria that could be lurking in the food. When you are out to eat, you can protect yourself and your child from potential food poisoning by requesting that raw sprouts not be added to your dish.

Work with an Experienced Elk Grove Food Poisoning Lawyer

If you or your child suffer from food poisoning because of another party’s negligence and you find yourself facing high medical bills and other expenses as a result, consider working with an experienced food poisoning lawyer to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. To learn more about personal injury claims for food poisoning cases, contact our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Ityoppyawit )

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Lawyer.com