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Testing finds salmonella in locally grown sprouts

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture sent a consumer advisory Thursday after routine safety testing revealed salmonella bacteria in a package of alfalfa sprouts grown by River Falls-based Jack & The Green Sprouts.

MDA advised all consumers to throw away any of the product they may have.

MDA and the Minnesota Department of Health found the bacteria isolated from the sprouts were salmonella diarizonae. The contamination is not associated with the ongoing national investigation of illnesses linked with peanut butter products.

The state of Minnesota is not aware of any illnesses associated with consumption of this product.

Jack & The Green Sprouts brand alfalfa sprouts are produced at N8477 770th St., River Falls, and distributed in Minnesota and Wisconsin including stores in River Falls.

MDA is working with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to investigate the contamination and to remove the product from distribution and retail facilities.

According to a profile posted on Minneapolis' Wedge Community Co-op web site about its suppliers, Jack and the Green Sprout has been in business since 1977 and supplying food cooperatives since 1978. Wedge characterized owner Joe Mahoney as "a real pioneer in the local produce movement."

Mahoney uses well water, certified organic seed, and "super-clean growing conditions," the site says, and produces quality sprouts at an affordable price.

Wedge noted that it receives deliveries from Mahoney's firm twice weekly, year-round. Other sprouts produced include daikon, broccoli, and onion and alfalfa blend sprouts. Jack and the Green Sprouts also supplies Wedge with sunflower sprouts, sprouted bean mix, and flats of wheatgrass for home juicing.

Consuming food contaminated with salmonella can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever. Anyone who believes they may be ill as a result of eating this product or foods made with this product should contact a health care provider.