Food Safety

Salmonella Linked To Farmers Market Peas

Health officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services say that they are working with 4 local Departments of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find the source of what appears to be a small Salmonella outbreak in Wisconsin.

Currently, the investigation is focused on fresh, shelled peas sold at farmers markets in Green Bay, Madison, and Fond du Lac. All 7 suspected victims reported eating fresh, shelled peas that were purchased at those farmers markets back in July and all have tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella bacteria.

The grower and/or seller of the suspect peas is not known at this time, said the agency’s press release.

There is no recall of the peas but officials urge anyone who purchased unshelled fresh peas at one of the markets as recently as August 5th to throw them out. That advice holds even if the peas have since been frozen.  (Freezing does not kill Salmonella bacteria.)

The markets being looked at in this investigation are:

  • Dane County Farmers Market in Madison – on the capital square (Saturdays) or Martin Luther King Blvd (Wednesdays)
  • Downtown Green Bay Farmers Market (Saturdays) – downtown
  • Fond du Lac Farmers Market (Saturdays) – downtown

Officials stress that their advice to throw out peas applies only to peas sold out of their pods. The recommendation does not, they say, cover peas that were purchased still in their pod or shell. Nor does it cover any peas sold at other farmers market locations.

And, of course, if you ate fresh loose peas that were bought at the named farmer’s markets between July 19 and  August 5, and are experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis, contact your doctor.

No information about the exact serotype was provided. Nor was any information given about the health of any of  the apparent victims.


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