Saturday, June 11, 2011
FDA WARNS AMERICANS ABOUT EATING SPROUTS
Only a small percentage of U.S. consumers (about 8 percent) eat sprouts of any kind. Alfalfa is the most popular. But those who do, tend to eat them raw on sandwiches salads or in wraps. They view sprouted seeds as great for their health. Unfortunately, as we have found out from the ongoing European E.coli outbreak linked to sprouts, they can be the opposite.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has for years warned Americans to be careful about sprouts.
To reduce the risk of illness, do not eat raw sprouts such as bean, alfalfa, clover, or radish sprouts. All sprouts should be cooked thoroughly before eating to reduce the risk of illness. This advice is particularly important for children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at risk of developing serious illness due to food-borne disease.
Clearly this advice is not being followed. We are still eating raw sprouts - including those people at high risk. I noticed when looking at the illness statistics on the large 2009 outbreak associated with alfalfa sprouts, that the age of the victims ranged from less than 12 months to 85 years.
To your good health!