Idaho Produce Grower Close to Collapse Following Recall


A North Idaho produce grower and distributor said her company is on the verge of collapse following a recall of its alfalfa sprouts. The Food and Drug Administration, in June, linked an outbreak of food-borne salmonella poisoning to two types of sprouts from the Evergreen Fresh Produce company in Moyie Springs. Nadine Scharf, the owner, complied with a FDA request to voluntarily recall her products.

Scharf said she laid off 10 of her 14 workers, sold three vehicles to raise cash and now is close to shutting down her business. Scharf said the worst part of her dilemma is that recent test results showed no trace of salmonella at her plant or in products taken for testing. The FDA confirmed the results this past Wednesday. But a spokeswoman for the FDA, Stephanie Yao, said the negative results do not rule out the sprouts as the possible cause of the outbreak.