CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. has stopped selling sprouts because the product has been shown to pose a potential food safety risk. The chain is stopping delivery of sprouts to stores and distribution centers on Monday.
"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.
“Sprouts present a unique challenge because pathogens may reside inside of the seeds where they cannot be reached by currently available processing interventions. Out of an abundance of caution, the Kroger Family of Stores will no longer sell fresh sprouts or procure other foods that are produced on the same equipment as sprouts."
FoodSafety.gov, an official U.S. government website, has reported many outbreaks over the years of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of those outbreaks were caused by salmonella and E. coli. No treatment is guaranteed to eliminate all harmful bacteria, the government website states.
Kroger noted that as technologies improve, it will be open to revisiting its sprouts policy.
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