“After a thorough, science-based review, we have decided to voluntarily discontinue selling fresh sprouts,” said Kroger’s vice president of food safety in a statement earlier today (via bizjournals.com). “Testing and sanitizing by the growers and safe food handling by the consumer are the critical steps to protect against food-borne 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.”
Kroger’s automatic doors aren’t permanently shut to sprouts. The chain says it is open to revisiting this policy “when new technologies and practices show that farmers can consistently produce sprout seeds that do not internalize pathogens, and when sprout processing environments can be enhanced for safety and cleanliness.”
The last day for new sprouts at Kroger will be Monday, Oct. 22. After that, we imagine a brutal black market for sprouts will begin to emerge, with sprout speakeasies opening up in barns around the country.
In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the sprouts.