URBANA, Ill. (WBBM) — The Food and Drug Administration is telling consumers to avoid alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts grown on a farm in Urbana, due to a suspected link to salmonella.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports, the Tiny Greens Organic Farm has been linked to salmonella cases in Illinois and other states in recent weeks.
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The FDA says Tiny Greens sprouts were distributed to farmers’ markets, restaurants and grocery stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri. But most notoriously, they were served at Jimmy John’s sandwich shops, where at least 89 people got sick from salmonella.
The report implicating Tiny Greens is being disputed by owner Bill Bagby Jr. He is quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying not a single sample taken by the FDA or the Illinois Health Department has come back positive for salmonella contamination.
The FDA says that Bagby is correct, but the advisory was warranted because of what a spokesman calls strong epidemiological evidence.
Bagby insists the FDA advisory is unwarranted.
Jimmy John’s told franchises in Illinois to pull alfalfa sprouts last week. But at the outset of the outbreak, the sandwich chain said alfalfa sprouts “rock,” and since there had been no official warning from the State of Illinois to pull them, the sprouts were to remain.