Kroger Co. will stop selling sprouts due to their food safety risk with the last delivery to distribution centers and stores happening yesterday (22 October).
The US retailer follows Walmart who stopped selling sprouts in 2010 but said it was open to revisiting the policy when new technologies and practices show that farmers can consistently produce sprout seeds that do not internalize pathogens.
Payton Pruett, Kroger's vice president of food safety, said: "Testing and sanitizing by the growers and safe food handling by the consumer are the critical steps to protect against foodborne illness.
“Sprouts present a unique challenge because pathogens may reside inside of the seeds where they cannot be reached by the 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."