Someone found this blog by searching google for the phrase "Can I eat bean sprouts during pregnancy". Seems like a funny question, but I suspect it's related to a health scare in Toronto when a number of people were infected with salmonella from eating bean sprouts.
Most people who are infected with salmonella will get over it, although they'll have vomiting and diarrhoea and feel extremely rough. But the very young, the very old, immune compromised people and pregnant women may be more severely affected and can die, so it's not to be taken lightly. Good hygiene that we all know about helps prevent its spread - washing hands, cleaning work surfaces, keeping fresh food refrigerated, cooking meat, eggs and chilled or frozen foods thoroughly etc.
There seems to be no particular reason why bean sprouts would harbour salmonella more than any other food. This isolated case in Canada seems to be a freak, rather than a timely warning that we should all avoid those dangerous killer alfalfa sprouts. The usual advice on salmonella says "Cook foods thoroughly", but that's very confusing. Does it mean we shouldn't eat salad? How about fruit? It's this kind of thing that helps drive people to ready meals and hamburgers because they're scared of eating fresh healthy food like bean sprouts and eggs.
For example, a few years ago seven people in the UK died from legionnaire's disease traced to an arts centre. But of course that doesn't mean arts centres are dangerous. A badly-maintained air conditioning unit was the cause. Similarly, it doesn't seem justified to point the finger at bean sprouts in general just because they were linked to this outbreak in Toronto. Poor food hygeine at some stage must have been the cause. And if that happens again, next time it could strike spinach, or apricots, or watercress, or anything else. When you think about it like this, it seems crazy to avoid bean sprouts.
I'm not a doctor, I'm not a biologist and I'm not the FDA. But I'd say bean sprouts are one of the healthiest things you can eat. If you're pregnant or immune compromised and you'd really rather not risk it, then I respect that. But what are you going to eat instead? Are you going to ask the restaurant to serve your salad without bean sprouts? If the restaurant has poor kitchen hygiene, you could still get sick from the uncooked lettuce and tomatoes. If you are going to opt for a BLT from the sandwich place rather than a salad sandwich with beansprouts, aren't you worried about all the saturated fats, salt, nitrates and so on in the BLT, not to mention that uncooked lettuce and tomato again? I think the salad is the healthier option, even with the bean sprouts. What do you think?