St, Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Health says it has linked some recent cases of E. coli illness to alfalfa sprouts.

Routine monitoring by the health department detected seven cases of the infection in Minnesota in January and February. Four of the cases were in the Twin Cities area, while the other three were in Greater Minnesota. Two of the people sickened by the infection were hospitalized, but all seven patients have recovered. There were also two other cases connected to the Minnesota illnesses in Wisconsin.

Officials say the bacteria in all seven Minnesota cases had the same DNA fingerprint and it has been linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts. Retailers,and restaurants are being directed to stop selling and serving alfalfa sprouts produced by the company. Consumers are urged not to eat them.

The Health Department says the extent contamination is still not known. E. coli illness is a potentially life-threatening infection that produces stomach cramps and diarrhea.

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