Published: Jul 01, 2011 7:02 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 01, 2011 6:03 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Idaho sprout producer has recalled its alfalfa and spicy sprouts because they may be linked to 21 cases of salmonella poisoning.

Evergreen Produce of Moyie Springs, Idaho, initially refused to recall its sprouts after the Food and Drug Administration said the sprouts may be linked to the illnesses in Idaho, Montana, Washington state, North Dakota and New Jersey.

But the company relented under agency pressure.

The FDA warned people on Monday not to eat the sprouts.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in people with weakened immune systems.

Raw sprouts often cause foodborne illness because they're grown in moist, warm conditions that bacteria enjoy.

An unrelated European E. coli outbreak believed to be caused by sprouts has killed 49 people and sickened 4,000.

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