Don’t Eat Raw Alfalfa Sprouts

Don’t Eat Raw Alfalfa Sprouts
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Fecal bacteria may contaminate alfalfa seed sprouts and present a food safety risk.

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What about the quintessential health food—alfalfa sprouts? According to the American Dietetic Association, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control, no sprouts. There have been a number of serious outbreaks of food poisoning tied to sprouts. Take salmonella, for example. Last year, linked to sprouts, there were not one, not two, but about 100 cases of salmonella food poisoning, which is a gift that can keep on giving. You get salmonella once, and you may suffer from chronic arthritis for the rest of your life. So the CDC has decreed, no sprouts.

We should put this in context, though. Last year, sprout consumption led to 100 cases of salmonella poisoning. Compare that to eggs though, which caused 118,000 cases of salmonella poisoning last year. Do we hear the CDC saying don’t eat eggs? No, but they do say not to eat raw or runny eggs. Even sunny side up or scrambled does not eliminate the salmonella threat. Eggs have to be cooked hard to kill off the bacteria. Similarly, if we boiled our sprouts, they would be safe too—but I don’t know how appetizing that would be.

Disturbing data keeps coming in. How much of the potentially deadly Jack in the Box E. coli 0157 is found in retail beef, sprouts, and mushrooms? Well, none were found in any mushrooms, but one out of every 91 burgers is contaminated, and one out of just 67 alfalfa sprout containers. So, no burgers, no alfalfa sprouts—even homegrown. The bacteria can get into the nooks and crannies of the alfalfa seed itself that you may buy at the store.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

What about the quintessential health food—alfalfa sprouts? According to the American Dietetic Association, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control, no sprouts. There have been a number of serious outbreaks of food poisoning tied to sprouts. Take salmonella, for example. Last year, linked to sprouts, there were not one, not two, but about 100 cases of salmonella food poisoning, which is a gift that can keep on giving. You get salmonella once, and you may suffer from chronic arthritis for the rest of your life. So the CDC has decreed, no sprouts.

We should put this in context, though. Last year, sprout consumption led to 100 cases of salmonella poisoning. Compare that to eggs though, which caused 118,000 cases of salmonella poisoning last year. Do we hear the CDC saying don’t eat eggs? No, but they do say not to eat raw or runny eggs. Even sunny side up or scrambled does not eliminate the salmonella threat. Eggs have to be cooked hard to kill off the bacteria. Similarly, if we boiled our sprouts, they would be safe too—but I don’t know how appetizing that would be.

Disturbing data keeps coming in. How much of the potentially deadly Jack in the Box E. coli 0157 is found in retail beef, sprouts, and mushrooms? Well, none were found in any mushrooms, but one out of every 91 burgers is contaminated, and one out of just 67 alfalfa sprout containers. So, no burgers, no alfalfa sprouts—even homegrown. The bacteria can get into the nooks and crannies of the alfalfa seed itself that you may buy at the store.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

More videos on salmonella food poisoning:

And check out my other videos on sprouts

For more context, see my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer Stem Cells vs. Broccoli and  Are Microgreens Healthier?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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