Supermarket Chain Takes Consumer Safety to a New Level
By Jean-Paul McDonald, Farms.com
North American’s have heard a lot about recalled food this year – from millions of pounds of beef to thousands of jars of peanut butter – all recalled due to bacterial contamination, including E.coli and Salmonella. Supermarket giant Kroger is taking consumer concerns one step further by discontinuing the sale of sprouts, which have been linked to as many as 2,500 illnesses in the U.S.A over the last two decades.
“After a thorough, science-based review, we have decided to voluntarily discontinue selling fresh sprouts,” Payton Pruett, Kroger’s vice president of food safety, said in a statement. Kroger is not the only food retailer to end its relationship with sprout products. In 2010, Walmart discontinued the sale of raw sprouts in its stores - also due to potential health risks for their consumers.
“This is big,” Marion Nestle, a professor of food safety at New York University, told USA Today. “This is a major retailer saying ‘We aren’t going to take it anymore. We can’t risk harming our customers, and our suppliers are unwilling or unable to produce safe sprouts.’ “
This ban on sprouts includes Mung bean sprouts, which are often used for Chinese-style stir fry dishes and alfalfa sprouts, the tasty little threads that go well on sandwiches.