Thursday, April 24, 2008

Consumer Warning: Chang Farm Soy Sprouts Bacteria Contamination

DPH Issues Consumer Warning For Chang Farm Soy Sprouts Because Of Bacteria Contamination
No illnesses reported, Consumers Urged to Discard Product

Donna Rheaume
(617) 624-5006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Boston, MA -- April 19, 2008 -- The Department of Public Health (DPH) is issuing a warning to the public not to consume any soy sprouts produced from Chang Farms in Whatley Massachusetts because of the presence of bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes).

The affected product is packaged in 12 ounce plastic bags, labeled under the Chang Farm Brand as Soy Sprouts, and have a "Sell By" date of April 19, 2008. At this time, DPH is aware of the affected product being distributed at several retail outlets throughout the state including Stop & Shop, Market Basket, and Whole Foods Markets.

Grocery stores, food service, and other retailers in Massachusetts should remove this product immediately. Consumers should discard this product or return it to the place of purchase.

To date, no illnesses associated with this product have been reported to DPH. L. monocytogenes is a bacteria that is widespread in the environment and is sometimes found in food. If contaminated food is eaten, it can result in a mild illness called listerial gastroenteritis or a severe, sometimes life-threatening illness.

Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. The illness may be mild and the symptoms described as flu-like. While most cases of listeriosis occur in adults with weakened immune status, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and newborns, infections can occasionally occur in healthy individuals. Consumers should contact their healthcare provider with any illness concerns.

Consumers with questions about the warning may contact the DPH Food Protection Program at 617-983-6712.

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