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Epidemiol Infect. 2009 Mar;137(3):357-66. doi: 10.1017/S0950268808000411. Epub 2009 Feb 9.

Salmonella infections associated with mung bean sprouts: epidemiological and environmental investigations.

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  • 1California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA, USA.


We investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infections linked to raw mung bean sprouts in 2000 with two case-control studies and reviewed six similar outbreaks that occurred in 2000-2002. All outbreaks were due to unusual phage types (PT) of SE and occurred in the United States (PT 33, 1, and 913), Canada (PT 11b and 913), and The Netherlands (PT 4b). PT 33 was in the spent irrigation water and a drain from one sprout grower. None of the growers disinfected seeds at recommended concentrations. Only two growers tested spent irrigation water; neither discarded the implicated seed lots after receiving a report of Salmonella contamination. We found no difference in the growth of SE and Salmonella Newport on mung beans. Mung bean sprout growers should disinfect seeds, test spent irrigation water, and discontinue the use of implicated seed lots when pathogens are found. Laboratories should report confirmed positive Salmonella results from sprout growers to public health authorities.

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