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Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, & Retailers

Final Update

This outbreak appears to be over. Regardless of where they are served or sold, raw and lightly cooked sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants, and other retailers always follow food safety practices to avoid illness from eating sprouts.


Photo of clover sprouts

Advice to Consumers

  • Raw or lightly cooked sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness.
    • Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts). People with weakened immune systems include people undergoing cancer treatment, people with HIV/AIDS, people with diabetes, and other groups.
    • If you are in one of these groups with a weakened immune system, ask food workers not to add raw or lightly cooked sprouts to your meal.  If you buy a sandwich or salad at a restaurant or deli, check to make sure it does not contain raw sprouts.
  • If you choose to eat sprouts, cook them thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Thoroughly cooking sprouts kills the harmful bacteria.

Advice to Restaurants and Retailers

  • Raw and lightly cooked sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. Always practice food safety for sprouts.
    • Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Thoroughly cooking sprouts kills the harmful bacteria.
  • CDC recommends that retailers always purchase sprouts from sprouters that follow the FDA Sprouts Guidance.

Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts.

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop the following signs and symptoms 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria:
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever
    • Abdominal cramps
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