Food Safety Alert Regarding a Multistate Outbreak of E. Coli

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC food safety alert regarding a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections has been posted:

What is new:

  • Since the last update on February 26, 2020, 25 additional people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from two states, bringing the total to 39 cases in six states (Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Florida, and Utah). Two people have been hospitalized.
  • Information gathered to date indicates that clover sprouts are a likely source of this outbreak.
  • On March 16, 2020, Chicago Indoor Garden recalled all products containing red clover sprouts.
  • CDC is advising consumers, restaurants, and retailers to not eat, serve, or sell recalled products containing sprouts from Chicago Indoor Garden.
  • This investigation is ongoing to determine where implicated sprouts and seeds have been distributed, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Advice to consumers:

  • Do not eat recalled products containing sprouts from Chicago Indoor Garden. Recalled products have a “Best By” date of March 12, 2020. To view a full list of recalled products, see the FDA investigation notice.
  • If you have them, do not eat, sell, or serve them. Throw them away.
  • Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as those with diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS, should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts), because sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness.

About E. coli infection:

  • People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after swallowing the germ.
  • Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • More information can be found here:

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.