February 22, 2018

Revisiting Raw Sprouts: Why Are They Such a Health Risk?

The current Salmonella Montevideo outbreak at Jimmy John's restaurants seems to be pinpointed on raw sprouts served on that chain's sandwiches. Unfortunately, most people do not think of produce as being a risk for food poisoning. But that class of foods is most often associated with foodborne illness outbreaks. There have been many outbreaks in the past few years linked to fresh produce, including leafy greens, apples, raspberries, snow peas, cilantro, and yes, sprouts. In fact, sprouts are almost in a category by themselves. The way this food is produced is part of the problem. To make sprouts, seeds are placed in a warm and moist environment, which happens to be the ideal medium for bacterial growth. Since 1998, fresh or lightly cooked sprouts have been linked to 49 food … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Jimmy John’s Raw Clover Sprouts

The FDA is weighing in on the multistate Salmonella Montevideo outbreak linked to raw clover sprouts sold at Jimmy John's restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin. The FDA is advising consumers not to eat sprouts at those restaurants in that state because they may be contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. We now know that the product being focused on is clover sprouts. Jimmy John's did announce on January 19, 2018, that all of its retail locations temporarily stopped serving sprouts. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that the sprouts served at Jimmy John's restaurants are the likely source of the outbreak. The most recent illness began on January 3, 2018. The FDA is working with partners in Illinois and Wisconsin, and the CDC, to conduct traceback on the clover sprouts. They want … [Read more...]

Five Sickened in Wisconsin in Jimmy John’s Salmonella Sprouts Outbreak

Five people are sick in Wisconsin in the multistate Salmonella Montevideo outbreak that happened after consumers ate sprouts at Jimmy John's restaurants in that state and Illinois. Two people are sick in Illinois, and one person is sick in Minnesota. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is working with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, health departments, and the CDC to investigate this outbreak. All five patients are sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella. And all of those patients said they ate sprouts at a Jimmy John's restaurant in the state in mid-to-late December, 2017. People who have been sickened by the same bacteria strain said they ate sprouts at Jimmy John's locations in their state. Officials are trying to identify … [Read more...]

Salmonella Montevideo Outbreak in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois Associated With Jimmy John’s Sprouts

A multisite outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections is associated with sprouts sold at Jimmy John's restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC statement reads, "Epidemiologic evidence indicates that raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants are a likely source of this multistate outbreak." Those sickened in this outbreak reported eating raw sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John's restaurants in those two states. Eight people are sick in those states. The case count by state is: Illinois (2), Minnesota (1), and Wisconsin (5). There have been no hospitalizations and no deaths reported. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December  20, 217 to January 3, 2018. The patient age range is from 26 to 50. All … [Read more...]

Mysterious E. coli Outbreak in LaCrosse, WI Hospitalizes 6 Kids

An E. coli outbreak has sickened at least eight people in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and hospitalized six children. The La Crosse County Health Department is investigating the outbreak, according to the La Crosse Tribune. Some of the children have recovered and have been released from the hospital. The bacteria that made them sick is E. coli O157. And they were hospitalized because they developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of an E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure, strokes, seizures, and death. This type of bacteria releases shiga toxins, which travel through the bloodstream and kill red blood cells. Those dead and damaged cells can then clog the kidneys, causing them to fail. The Wisconsin Department of Health is assisting La Crosse County in … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in Wisconsin Linked to Peas Sold at Farmers Markets

Seven people in four counties are sick with Salmonella infections in Wisconsin after eating fresh shell peas purchased at farmers markets. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and four local health departments are investigating this outbreak. Four of the patients live in Brown County. Those sickened ate fresh shelled (loose) peas purchased from farmers markets in Madison, Fond du Lac, and Green Bay on Saturday, July 22, 2017. Anyone who purchased shelled peas from these farmers markets from July 19 to August 15, 2017 should throw them away, even if they have been frozen. The farmers markets are Dane County Farmers Market in Madison located on the capital square (Saturdays) or Martin Luther King Blvd … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at Special Kids Day in Wisconsin

A norovirus outbreak that sickened at least 60 people last month at the Special Kids Day event at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds has been linked to contaminated food served there. Jennifer Miller, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said, "all evidence in the investigation suggests that the primary mode of transmission of norovirus was through contaminated food. However, the source has not been determined and remains under investigation." Lab testing found a "commonality" in stool samples from ill persons that showed the outbreak was caused by food. Norovirus is spread through person-to-person contact, by touching contaminated surfaces, and by eating contaminated food and drink. About 738 disabled students from 26 school districts were at the … [Read more...]

Jimmy John’s Food Poisoning Outbreak in Wisconsin

Jimmy John's restaurants have been linked to outbreaks of E. coli food poisoning in the past. Now an outbreak of norovirus has been linked to the Jimmy John's restaurant at 3910 Schofield Avenue in Weston, Wisconsin, according to the Marathon County Health Department in Wausau, Wisconsin. Lawyer Fred Pritzker, who represents people sickened by unsafe food, said, "No one should get sick just because they decided to get a sandwich for lunch. Restaurants have a responsibility to serve safe food that is not contaminated by pathogens." Sprouts were the culprit in past outbreaks of illness. A multistate outbreak of E. coli O26 infections was linked to raw clover sprouts at certain Jimmy John's restaurants in 2012, sickening 29 people and hospitalizing 7, some with a severe complication … [Read more...]

Top 10 Multistate Outbreaks of 2016: Number 8 Jack & The Green Sprouts

The eighth largest food poisoning outbreak in 2016 was a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & the Green Sprouts. Eleven people in two states were sickened in this outbreak. Two people were hospitalized. The case count by state is: Minnesota (8), and Wisconsin (3). No one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome in this outbreak, and no one died. The facility that produced the sprouts is located in River Falls, Wisconsin. Epidemiological evidence indicates that that facility is the likely source of the outbreak. Raw sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. People in high risk groups, such as the elderly, the very young, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems should not eat raw … [Read more...]

CDC Updates E. coli Sprouts Outbreak in MN and WI

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Has updated their investigation into an E. coli O157 (STEC O157) outbreak in Minnesota and Wisconsin linked to recalled Jack & the Green Sprouts alfalfa and alfalfa onion sprouts products. Seven people are sick in Minnesota, and two in Wisconsin. Two people in Minnesota have been hospitalized, but no one has reported hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. On February 25, 2016, Jack and the Green Sprouts voluntarily recalled all alfalfa and alfalfa onion sprout products. These products do not have a long shelf life, so hopefully consumers will not have them in their homes. If you do, throw them away and clean out your refrigerator with a mild bleach solution, then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and … [Read more...]

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