Kowalke Family Sprouts has voluntarily issued a product recall of its brand of alfalfa sprouts and related products made in California because of possible salmonella contamination and risk of food poisoning. According to an Associated Press news report, the California Health Department says Kowalke Organics’ sprouts were mostly distributed at Gelson’s and Whole Foods markets in Southern California.

These recalled products had sell-by dates from June 18 to June 30. Kowalke Family Sprouts also voluntarily recalled related products such as packaged dinner salad and onion mix. Apparently, only one package of sprouts tested positive for salmonella, but the company decided to go ahead with the recall anyway.

In April, another Los Angeles based company called Calco Inc. recalled alfalfa sprouts also believed to have been contaminated by salmonella. Those sprouts were sold to local restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Salmonella infection is a food-borne illness that could cause food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after the person has been infected with the bacteria. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), salmonella infection could last four to seven days. Hospitalization may be necessary in some patients. In certain cases where the salmonella infection is left untreated, it could become fatal. The elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to contract this fatal salmonella infection.

I’m glad that this local food producer has issued the product recall. It’s also reassuring to know that they do test their products for contamination on a routine basis. However, tainted produce, once distributed, can cause a lot of damage.

Salmonella is a food-borne illness that usually spreads through raw food or food that is not completely cooked. The recent pistachio nut and peanut butter product recalls involving salmonella contamination show us that this is a serious problem in our food producing and food processing plants. Lack of frequent inspections by federal and local health agencies and their lack of resources have also contributed to this continuing food safety issue.

If you or a loved one has been infected with salmonella and if you believe you have suffered serious personal injuries as a result of eating these contaminated alfalfa sprouts, please file a complaint with your local health care agency. If you would like more information about your legal rights and options, please contact an experienced Los Angeles County food-borne illness lawyer.