Risky Business: Sprouts


Jack-The-Green-SproutsI am a lover of most things vegetable. I prefer a mound of greens to a juicy steak any day of the year. I love my vegetables raw, steamed, fried, sautéed, and roasted. There are very few I don’t care for, and  one of those are sprouts. I don’t just dislike them, I detest them.

The hairy consistency and overall earthiness of them is off putting. If the taste and texture isn’t enough to make you back off, these new findings just might.

Sprouts appear on the list of foodborne illness outbreaks more regularly than other foods. The frequent outbreaks have some stores and restuarants taking great measures to mitigate the risks of selling a potentially dangerous “health” food.

When ordering at sandwich chain Jimmy John’s online, a warning pops up stating.”The consumption of raw sprouts may result in an increased risk of foodborne illness and poses a health risk to everyone. Click ‘Yes’ if you understand the potential risks, or ‘Cancel’ if you’d like to continue without adding sprouts.”  The restaurant has been victim of multiple outbreaks of sprout related illness in the last several years.

Kroger and Walmart have deemed sprouts ” too dangerous to sell,” and have opted out of carrying them since 2012.

Why are sprouts, often though of as a health food so susceptible to contamination? Sprout seeds need warmth and humidity to grow, as do many pathogens, causing them to flourish. Because they are eaten raw, the risk is even higher.

Although thorough testing of seeds and seed water have been employed to reduce risk, the outbreaks continue. For now, it is best to pass them by.

photo: Jack and the Green Sprouts / barf blog

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One Response to “Risky Business: Sprouts”

  1. lulu Says:

    You make a good case for. It eating sprouts!

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