October 17, 2017

CDC Updates E. coli Outbreak Linked to Jimmy John’s Sprouts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated their investigation into the E. coli O121 outbreak linked to raw clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s and other restaurants. As of June 27, 2014, the case count stands at 18. The case count per state is: Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (11).

E. coli O121 Sprouts Outbreak 62714

Forty-four percent of ill persons have been hospitalized in this outbreak. No one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and no deaths have been reported. Illnesses range from May 1, 2014 to May 20, 2014. Ill persons range in age from 11 years to 45 years, with a median age of 27 years. Seventy-six percent of ill persons are female. Illnesses that began after June 4, 2014 may not have been reported because of the length of time between getting sick and reporting to the government.

Traceback investigations have found that Evergreen Fresh Sprouts supplied the clover sprouts associated with this outbreak. Sprouts from this seed lot may still be in the marketplace.  Public health officials recommend that anyone in a high risk group should not consume raw sprouts of any kind at any time. And the Washington State Department of Health, along with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are telling people not to eat any raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.

No recall has been issued. The sprouts were served at Jimmy John’s restaurants, as well as other restaurants such as Pita Pita and Daanen’s Deli. The FDA has inspected Evergreen Fresh Sprouts and found a number of health and food safety violations. The seed lot used to produce the sprouts in question may have been contaminated. The CDC and FDA had a meeting with the owner of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts on June 26, 2014 to discuss this matter.

E. coli O121 is very rare; there have only been a few outbreaks with this particular strain of bacteria in the United States. If you have eaten clover sprouts and have experienced the symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include severe cramps, mild fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, see your doctor immediately. Complications of an E. coli infection can include hemolytic uremic syndrome which can lead to kidney failure.

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