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Salmonella outbreak prompts alfalfa sprout recall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A California food company has issued a nationwide recall of alfalfa sprouts after an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 20 people in 10 states.

Caldwell Fresh Foods on Friday voluntarily recalled alfalfa sprouts manufactured under the Caldwell Fresh Foods, Nature's Choice, and California Exotics brands.

Salmonella can cause serious and possibly fatal infections in young children, the elderly, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella can experience fever, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain.

The company said in a statement no deaths have been reported, but four cases involved hospitalization.

The sprouts were distributed to restaurants and retailers including Trader Joe's and Wal-Mart stores.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the outbreak in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state authorities.

Caldwell Fresh Foods is cooperating in the investigation.

(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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