In this article called “8 façons de t’intoxiquer à un barbecue” (which could be translated by “8 ways to poison yourself at a barbecue”), a Canadian skeptic talks about sprout seeds :

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I would translate that by:

As for raw sprouts (bean sprouts, alfalfa, etc.), they are such 'nests' for bacteria that they should not be eaten by children or elderly people... I'm serious.

This guy, does not give any source for that (hum).

Is it true? Is there a scientific consensus about this?

1 Answer 1


Obviously whether they are "safe" is a subjective standard, so unless you quantify it, the title question is unanswerable.

Here is an article from http://foodsafety.gov, which is published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which discusses the risks of bacterial contamination in sprouts. It contains a recommendation which echoes your claim:

Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).


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