On May 8, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced the recall of alfalfa sprouts produced by the company Cleveland Beansprouts Co. Discussed here, the Company is recalling the sprouts due to the possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. For more information about Listeria monocytogenes, please see our previous post here.
Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Microbiological Data Program (“MDP”), state agencies cooperate with the federal government in collecting and analyzing data to protect consumers from the spread of food-borne pathogens. The sprouts, which were only distributed in Ohio and never crossed state lines, were found to be contaminated with the bacteria after microbiological testing (a part of the MDP) was conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Thus, this recent recall illustrates not only how the various federal agencies work together, but how federal and state regulatory authorities exercise power jointly in preventing outbreaks. More information about the USDA’s MDP may be accessed here.