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Oct 26, 2012 12:00 PM

Grocery chain drops sprouts

Citing food safety, they are dropping sprouts from their produce department...
All they need to do for safety on the sprouts is to irradiate them, proven, safe technique.

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  1. Not sure what to think about that. We do grow ours at home -- have several different blends that we get at the health food market -- and we put them in salads and sandwiches.

    But I've always been a believer in the 5-minute rule re things that drop on the floor, and that germs are our friends because they make us strong, so we're not running yet.

    1. irradiated food is a controversial topic and the process has numerous drawbacks. it's extremely expensive (and guess who ends up absorbing the cost?), it destroys a number of key nutrients, it doesn't affect chemicals or pesticide residue, and food can still be recontaminated if mishandled at the packaging level.

      1. Bummer. I grow my own but hate to see sprouts demonized. I encourage anyone who's thinking about it, to try home sprouting! I've considered starting a thread on the Gardening Board to call in the faithful lol.

        5 Replies
        1. re: DuchessNukem

          But the above referenced article says that even home sprouting is not safe.

          1. re: FoodTruth

            That's true, that is what the article says, FoodTruth -- but experienced home sprouters source, store and sprout their seeds carefully; that's why I still sprout. My main/best source is -- folks who've been procuring seeds for years and maintain high organic standards. With good choice of seeds and good technique home sprouting is very safe.

            I've examined issues with commercial sprout growers over the years; some have been cited more than once. They have contamination issues, from roof leaks dripping onto seed bags, lack of hand hygiene, tracking active compost into sprouting rooms, high bacterial concentration in rinse effluent, filth on sprouting trays, etc. My seed suppliers have not been named as sources of bacterially-invaded seed. My home-handling practices are good and my sprouts are fresh because I eat them the day they're ready, I don't rinse, pack and ship them for 2-3 days, then let them sit on a shelf.

            1. re: DuchessNukem

              I sprout at home too, but have never bought any special seed. I am still wondering if anything has changed with the seeds themselves, or is it with the mass production of sprouts and liability reduction at play.
              I have seen the sprout people website before but haven't ordered. I might give them a try now.

              1. re: DuchessNukem

                Thanks That's comforting to hear! I've home sprouted off and on over the years and would hate to give up that possibility.

            2. I don't blame them. The incident in Germany in 2011 is reason enough to justify dropping sprouts until an adequate system is in place to prevent another such incident.

              1. This strikes me as really strange. Has something changed? Or is this another Americanized- bacteria -phobic -driven -media -hype-liability reduction- issue?

                I intend to look a bit deeper into it, but what I have read from other sources so far, is that they are likening the risk factors to include "all raw produce" as it is risky to eat: not sterilized, irradiated, cooked to death foods, etc. I am not a huge "risk taker" nor am I foolish- but I also don't buy into hysteria about certain food items that the FDA or other G'ment agency deems "dangerous" for the general public.

                Thanks for the article.

                5 Replies
                1. re: sedimental

                  Americanized? Phobic? Hype? The fact is, 53 people died in one incident in Germany. Of course it's about liability reduction. A grocer has no obligation to sell any particular product, and certainly will not want to carry a product which could be harmful, even if the risk is small.

                  And by the way, the seeds which caused the deaths in Germany were "organic." These were completely "natural" deaths.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      I don't think so. There is no "hysteria." There is no US government agency declaring sprouts "dangerous." It seems to me that you are the one over-reacting on this.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        Not at all. I am asking a question.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Seems as though the retailer may simply be covering its own arse, in case something went wrong in the future.

                    Here in the UK (and, presumably, elsewhere in the European Union) sprouts are readily on sale although the current advice from the Food Standards Agency is not to eat them raw (which defeats the object for me) - although supermarkets still sell them amongst other salads