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The Problem with Sprouts

7/14/2000-According to Food Safety Network Technical Report #16 by Sylvanus Thompson and D.A. Powell, seed sprouts have emerged as a significant source of foodborne illness. The authors claims that consumption of fresh sprouts has become a public health concern of some magnitude. The failure of efforts by regulatory authorities and industry to ensure the safety of the product resulted in raw sprouts being declared, in the U.S., a high-risk food to the general public. Several methods were used to communicate the risks to the public, including press releases and health hazard alerts from authorities, widespread media coverage, public meetings, and scientific reports in journals. There has been little public discussion in Canada. The effectiveness of the risk management and communication strategies used is unclear as there are still numerous reports of sprout-associated outbreaks. For more information, see the Food Safety Network.






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