April 19, 2024

After Four Outbreaks, Jimmy John’s Permanently Pulls Sprouts From Menu

After four “sproutbreaks” in four years, Jimmy John’s is permanently removing sprouts from its menu. Although the company has still not made a public statement about the multi-state E.coli outbreak that has sickened a dozen people, Jimmy John Liautaud, the company’s founder, told franchisors in an email that the company would no longer be offering sprouts of any kind on its menu.

State and federal health officials, who are investigating the outbreak collaboratively, believe the source of the E.coli 026 outbreak is clover sprouts. The company switched from alfalfa to clover sprouts last year after its third sproutbreak, a Salmonella outbreak in February 2011 that sickened 140 people in 26 states.

Sprouts are a common source of foodborne illness causing more than 30 U.S. outbreaks in the last 15 years, according to the CDC. Sprouts were also the source of the European outbreak last year sickened more than 4,000 people and killed more than 50.

For the current outbreak, the case count by state is as follows: Iowa (5), Missouri (3), Kansas (2), Arkansas (1), and Wisconsin (1),  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All 12 victims are females ranging in age from 9 years to 49 years old, with a median age of 25 years old. For those victims, onset of illness ranges from December 25, 2011 to January 15, 2012, but the CDC says illnesses that occurred after January 27, 2012, might not be reported yet.


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