Food Safety

Sprout SafetyAlfalfa Sprouts

In recent years various types of sprouts (eg. bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts) have been implicated in a number of food-borne illnesses and are now considered a hazardous food. A hazardous food is any food which is capable of supporting the growth of pathogenic organisms or the production of the toxins of such organisms, which may in turn cause illness.

All hazardous foods require proper storage and handling which is essential to the control of bacterial loads in the food product. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is now requiring food premises to store all sprouts at an internal temperature of 4°C/40°F or lower at all times.

Bean SproutsAnyone who eats raw sprouts may be at risk for exposure to E. coli 0157:H7, salmonella bacteria, or other illness causing micro-organisms. To reduce the risk of illness from eating sprouts you should thoroughly cook all types of sprouts to a minimum of 70°C/158°F.