Salmonella warning over bean sprouts

Raw bean sprouts would be washed and thoroughly cooked before being eaten unless they are labelled as ready to eat, the Health Protection Agency has warned.

A further 19 cases have been found in Scotland.

Investigations have found the bug is present in some bags of bean sprouts.

Ten people fell ill with Salmonella poisoning at a wedding in Manchester in August and an 82-year-old woman died.

Professor Qutub Syed from the HPA’s Local and Regional Services Division said: “It is important for people who prepare meals in catering establishments and in the home to keep raw bean sprouts separate from other salad products, including ready-to-eat bean sprouts, to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.

“If there is any doubt as to whether bean sprouts are “ready-to-eat”, or in the absence of clear preparation instructions, the Food Standards Agency advises that bean sprouts should be washed and thoroughly cooked as a precaution. If this advice is followed bean sprouts will be safe to eat.”

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