June 3, 2020

Jimmy John’s Clover Sprouts E. coli O103 Outbreak Ends With 51 Sick

The Jimmy John’s clover sprouts E. coli O103 outbreak has ended with 51 people in 10 states sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three people were hospitalized because they were so sick. No deaths were reported. That is an increase of 12 cases ¬†and four new states since the last update on March 19, 2020. Idaho, Wyoming, New York, and Virginia have been added to the case count.

Jimmy John's Clover Sprouts E. coli O103 Outbreak Ends With 51 Sick

The case count by state are: Florida (1), Idaho (1), Illinois (7), Iowa (3), Missouri (1), New York (1), Texas (1), Utah (34), Virginia (1), Wyoming (1). Illness onset dates range from January 6, 2020 to March 15, 2020. The patient age range is from 1 to 79 years.

Whole genome sequencing showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically, meaning that they had a common source of infection. Epidemiologic, traceback, and lab evidence indicated that clover sprouts were the source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill persons answered questions about the food they ate another exposures they had th week before they got sick. Eighteen, or 36%, of 32 ill persons said they ate sprouts. This is a significantly higher percentage than results from a survey of healthy people where only 8% said they ate sprouts.

Sixty-three percent of 27 people interviewed said they ate sprouts at a Jimmy John’s restaurant. Jimmy John’s stopped serving clover sprouts on February 24, 2020, and those sprouts are no longer available at Jimmy John’s restaurants.

ON March 16, 2020, Chicago Indoor Garden recalled all of their products containing red clover sprouts after the FDA found the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in samples of that company’s products. Traceback investigations showed that both the sprouts recalled by Chicago Indoor Garden and those that were served at some Jimmy John’s locations were grown from a common seed lot. That same seed lot was used to grow sprouts inked to an E. coli O103 outbreak in 2019. The CDC did not name the supplier of the seeds.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help if you have been diagnosed with an E. coli O103 infection or any other food poisoning infection by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Isolates from one ill person predicted that this E. coli O103 strain is resistant to the antibiotics treptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Thirty-eight isolates did not show evidence of antibiotic resistance.

Symptoms of an E. coli O103 infection include a mild fever, vomiting, nausea, severe and painful abdominal and stomach cramps, and diarrhea that is typically bloody and watery. If you ate raw sprouts and have been sick with those symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Jimmy John’s clover sprouts E. coli O103 outbreak.

 

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