Tell Us How We're Doing
File a complaint
To report public health issues.
Call the Customer Call Center at:

(888) 700-9995

Telephone agents are available on Monday - Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Or visit our Environmental Health Online Complaint System

To report a foodborne illness: please visit the Foodborne Illness Complaint page
How to Find Us
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(888) 700-9995

get adobe reader image

Adobe Reader
Note: PDF documents on this site were created using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later. If you are using an earlier version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (4.x or less), document functionality may be reduced. Please Click Here

Health Advisories
Raw Seed Sprout Storage and Handling

The purpose of this advisory is to provide proper storage and handling guidelines for retail food facility operators, and to prevent foodborne illness associated with the consumption of raw seed sprouts.

The State of California, Department of Public Health recognizes raw seed sprouts to be a potentially hazardous food. Raw seed sprouts have been shown to support the rapid and progressive growth of infectious microorganisms such as Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Since 1995, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recognized raw seed sprouts as a source of foodborne illness in the United States. In addition, the FDA has listed raw seed sprouts as a “Potentially Hazardous Food” in the 1999 Federal Model Food Code.

Alfalfa sprouts, the most common form of raw seed sprouts available in the market place, have been the cause of most reported sprout-related foodborne illness outbreaks. Other types of sprouts that have also been implicated in reported sprout-related foodborne illness outbreaks are radish sprouts, clover sprouts, and mung bean sprouts. In most reported sprout-related outbreaks, the likely source of contamination was the seed. However, unsafe food practices have also contributed to the contamination of sprouts.

In order to minimize the contamination of sprouts due to unsafe food practices, retail food facility operators handling, storing or serving raw seed sprouts shall comply with the following guidelines:

  1. Raw seed sprouts shall be held under refrigeration at a temperature not to exceed 41 °F.
  2. All operators handling raw seed sprouts shall employ good personal hygiene practices. Examples of good personal hygiene are:
    1. Hands shall be washed with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling sprouts.
    2. Employees with open cuts, wounds or sores shall not handle sprouts unless the wound is bandaged and the hand is properly gloved.
    3. Employees shall wear clean, outer garments, and hair restraints.
  3. Ensure that raw seed sprouts are crisp-looking with buds attached. Remove all musty smelling, dark, or slimy-looking sprouts at once.
  4. To minimize bacterial growth, raw seed sprouts should not be held in a display case equipped with automatic misters. Sprouts should be stored in a clean and dry environment.
  5. All packaged raw seed sprouts must be labeled “Perishable- keep refrigerated”. The label must also contain the following information: common name, net weight, or numerical count; name and place of business where manufactured.
For additional information, please contact your local Environmental Health Office or call the number listed below.

Los Angeles County Environmental Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(626) 430-5200

Pay for your Public Health
Permit or License
To pay for your Public Health Permit and/or License using your Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover), Debit Card, or Electronic Check (ECheck), please visit our Payment Portal .

A convenience fee per transaction will apply. The convenience fees for Credit Card, Debit Card, and Electronic Check are 2.25% of payment, $1.49, and $0.95 respectively. Please have your Account ID and your Facility ID numbers from your billing statement ready. Payment will only be accepted online for the total amount owed on an account. Terms and Conditions apply. For more information about Permit and License Billing, please visit our Payment information page .
Areas of Interest
Popular Links
Director of Environmental Health
Liza Frias
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services