October 21, 2014

At A Glance: CDC Advice to Public Concerning Raw Sprouts of Any Kind

The most recent outbreak of food borne illness linked to raw sprouts is a restaurant-based outbreak of E. coli O26 associated with consumption of raw clover sprouts served on sandwiches at certain Jimmy John’s locations in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Wisconsin.

Like other restaurants chains and some large food retailers, Jimmy John’s has now removed sprouts from its menu offerings because of the inherent risk of pathogen contamination in this area of fresh produce.

CDC Advice to Consumers:

  • Children, older adults, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).
  • Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Cooking thoroughly kills the harmful bacteria.
  • Request that raw sprouts not be added to your food. If you purchase a sandwich or salad at a restaurant or delicatessen, check to make sure that raw sprouts have not been added.
  • People who think they might have become ill from eating potentially contaminated sprouts should consult their health care provider.
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