How to clean alfalfa sprouts

After a rash of salmonella scares connected with alfalfa sprouts, many people opt not to eat them. Alfalfa sprouts are usually only eaten raw because they do not retain their crisp crunchiness when cooked for even a short time. Because of this, you must choose and prepare them carefully. Make sure you clean alfalfa sprouts thoroughly before eating them.

Choose alfalfa sprouts carefully. Select sprouts that appear fresh and crispy. Look through the plastic container to try to detect any sliminess on the sprouts and avoid sprouts that show it.

Place the alfalfa sprouts into the colander.

Place the colander into the sink and run cool water over the alfalfa sprouts. Toss the alfalfa sprouts in the colander with your hands as the water runs on them to clean them thoroughly. Continue running water and tossing the alfalfa sprouts for two to three minutes.

Shake the colander in the sink vigorously to remove as much remaining water as possible.

Spread a thick layer of paper towels on the counter and dump the washed alfalfa sprouts onto the towels.

Cover the alfalfa sprouts with another thick layer of paper towels and pat the alfalfa dry between the layers.

Refrigerate if you're not planning to use immediately.


Be aware that this method may not be sufficient to remove all harmful bacteria. According to, to be sure you're safe, either cook your alfalfa sprouts before eating them or don't consume them.

Things You'll Need

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Colander
  • Paper towels
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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.