The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that five cases of Salmonella Hartford infection may be linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport associated with consumption of organic sprouted chia powder.
The Strain of Salmonella Hartford involved has never been seen before by the PulseNet system for identifying outbreaks, but matches one isolated from cases in Canada that are also linked to sprouted chia seed powder. CDC says that the combined US outbreak now includes 17 cases across 10 states and that two of the people affected have been hospitalised.
A number of additional product recalls have been triggered by the outbreak. Navitas Naturals of California voluntarily recalled three products containing organic sprouted chia seeds on 28 May, but this recall was extended on 6 June to include additional ‘best by’ dates. Recalls of products containing chia seed powder have also been initiated in the USA by Health Matters America Inc. and GreenSmoothieGirl. Meanwhile, in Canada, BioEssential Botanicals has recalled products containing chia seed powder and sold under the Organic Traditions, Back 2 the Garden and Pete’s Gluten-Free brands.
More information about the outbreak investigation can be found on the CDC web site here.