Sprouts, like any fresh live food, could carry harmful bacteria. Nothing grown in nature is sterile. Although we feel the risk of organic seed being contaminated with Salmonella or E.coli is very small, we do take it very seriously.
We sample each lot and probe every bag as it arrives in our warehouse. These samples then go directly to an independent lab for Salmonella and E. Coli tests. We keep seeds quarantined until the they are cleared.
We adhere to strict best manufacturing practices that insure the seed stays clean until it reaches you. We are audited annually to a GFSI level food safety certification program: FSSC 22 000.
What are some other things that you can do?
USE CERTIFIED ORGANIC SEEDS
Organic certification assures that seeds have been grown and handled in a manner that helps minimize possible sources of contamination. Manure used on organic fields, for example, must be composted for a long period. Composting has been shown to reduce or eliminate pathogens in manure. Organic farmers are also required to use rodent and bird proof storage for seeds destined for consumption.
A recent article published in the Journal of Applied Ecology shows that contrary to popular perception, increased biodiversity on the farm can actually reduce risks of food-borne pathogens, and organic farming is the ticket to increasing the right kinds of insects and bacteria to suppress those pathogens.
BE CONSCIOUS OF CROP TYPE
Make sure that any seeds you buy have been handled as a food crop and not a farm planting seed crop. Seeds that have been in contact with animals or animal waste could be contaminated with Salmonella or E. Coli which could lead to food poisoning.
HANDLE AND STORE SAFELY
Wash your hands and sterilize any equipment or utensils before handling your seeds and sprouts.
Refrigerate finished sprouts in air-tight containers.
If you collect your own garden seeds, make sure to dry them and store them in a clean and rodent-free environment.
If you have any other questions please get in touch and remember:
“In a given year, getting hit by lightning (1.29 people per million) is more likely than contracting E. Coli (1.1 people per million) from meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, eggs and produce combined. Since produce represents the smallest risk of these foods (41 outbreaks in 5 years) and since sprouts represent an even smaller risk than produce (12 in 40 years), the benefits of eating sprouts dramatically, statistically and historically outweigh the contamination risks.”