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Ask the Expert Archive

What is the safe way to eat broccoli sprouts?


Q. I’ve read John’s Hopkins website and recommendation to include broccoli sprouts in a cancer fighting diet. Some sources say avoid eating raw sprouts due to bacteria concern. How can I prepare sprouts to keep food value yet food safety as well? Thanks


A. Broccoli sprouts are rich in vitamins A, C, E, calcium, fiber and a natural compound found in other cruciferous plants (e.g. broccoli, cabbage) that supports the body’s own antioxidant function to prevent various cancer types.


Food Safety Guidelines for Safe Sprout Consumption

    High-Risk Individuals


    For people at “high risk” for food poisoning, severe and life-threatening illness may result from consuming raw or lightly cooked sprouts. People with weakened immune systems, children, the elderly and pregnant women should not eat any variety of raw or lightly-cooked sprouts. If you’re a high-risk individual, thoroughly cook sprouts if you choose to eat them. If you’re unsure of your risk level, consult your physician or registered dietitian nutritionist.


    Selection, Storage & Prep

    • Buy only fresh sprouts that have been kept properly refrigerated.
    • Do not buy sprouts that have a musty smell or slimy appearance.
    • At home, refrigerate sprouts at 40° F or below.
    • Wash your hands properly before handling raw sprouts.
    • Rinse sprouts thoroughly under running water before use.

For more information safe sprout consumption visit

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