Jimmy John’s and Jason’s Deli Pull Sprouts from Menus Nationwide
Jimmy John’s has finally pulled sprouts from its menus nationwide, following the fifth outbreak of either E. coli or salmonella poisoning since 2008 linked to sprouts served at its restaurants.
More than 400 customers across the country have been sickened a result of Jimmy John’s outbreaks linked to sprouts. As a result, the ocmpany has ordered sprouts off the menu at all Jimmy John’s locations nationwide, including one of its newest locations in North Naples, Florida which served raw alfalfa sprouts until the latest incidents surfaced. “We got rid of them the day it was confirmed there was a breakout,” said Mark Oehlers, assistant manager at the Naples store, 1201 Piper Blvd. “We haven’t been serving them for about 10 days now,” he confirmed, adding that the company is trying to find a replacement item for the sprouts.
In addition, it has also been reported that Jason’s Deli has also stopped offering sprouts on its sandwiches or as a salad bar item. Instead, for nearly two months now, the chain has been offering spinach or spring mix on items that had sprouts, according to Reggie Devose, one of the managers of a Jason’s Deli also in North Naples, Florida. “We are trying to be on the safe side of a potentially hazardous food problem,” Devose said.
Jimmy John’s is based out of Champaign, Ill., and has approximately 1,200 restaurants.
The Outbreak Takes its Toll: Some Victims Sue
The decision to pull sprouts from menus nation-wide comes after Mollie Horton, 23, of Altoona, Iowa, filed a lawsuit in Polk County District Court against Jimmy John’s. She said she fell ill Dec. 26, days after eating a sandwich from a Jimmy John’s party platter at a family gathering. Horton’s lawsuit said she removed the sprouts from the sandwich but nonetheless caught E. coli poisoning that caused her to be hospitalized for three days and sick for weeks. Testing showed her illness was the result of the strain linked to the outbreak, which so far has sickened 12 people in at least five states.
Ms. Horton’s suit comes only days after Ms. Heather Tuttle, 27, filed her lawsuit in Des Moines, Iowa, seeking damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Tuttle became ill with E. coli poisoning after eating a turkey sandwich with sprouts from a Jimmy John’s restaurant in West Des Moines on Jan. 3. Tuttle eventually required a series of medical treatments for the illness, which included excruciating cramps and diarrhea.
Ms. Tuttle and Ms. Horton are two of at least 14 victims in Iowa (5), Missouri (3), Kansas (2), Arkansas (1), and Wisconsin (1) who became ill after consuming clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s. The illnesses occurred between Dec. 25 and Jan. 15. Two of the victims were hospitalized, though no deaths have been reported.
Seven additional cases of E. coli O26 are currently under investigation in Michigan.
Federal Officials Take the Lead in the Investigation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last confirmed that a preliminary investigation identified a common lot of clover seeds that were used to grow the tainted sprouts. CDC officials also said investigators had linked the clover seeds to clover sprouts served at the Jimmy John’s restaurant locations where people got sick. The CDC said the seed supplier began warning sprouting facilities to stop using them on February 12 the supplier of those seeds notified users they should stop using seeds from that lot.
“This investigation is ongoing, but preliminary results of the epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicate eating raw clover sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants is the likely cause of this outbreak,” the CDC report said. The CDC representatives said two of the stricken individuals were hospitalized. The CDC also confirmed these illnesses: Iowa, 5; Missouri, 3; Kansas, 2; and one each in Arkansas and Wisconsin.
The CDC added that among the sickened persons for whom information is available, the dates of illness onset ranged from Dec. 25 to Jan. 15, and noted that the illnesses of people sickened after Jan. 27, if any, would not yet have come to the attention of health officials because the lag time between illness onset and reporting averages two to three weeks.
The CDC said that since 1996 there have been at least 30 foodborne illness outbreaks associated with raw or lightly cooked sprouts, most often from Salmonella and E. coli contamination. An E. Coli outbreak associated with uncooked sprouts from fenugreek seeds is believed to be responsible for 41 deaths and nearly 4,000 illnesses in Europe last year. Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois have also been linked to at least 4 other outbreaks, including two very recent ones. In 2010, a Salmonella illness outbreak from contaminated raw alfalfaand spicy sprouts sickened at least 140 people in 26 states and the District of Columbia, and in 2008 an outbreak of 23 E. coli O157 illnesses, associated with alfalfa sprouts, sickened people in five Colorado counties.
The CDC and the Food & Drug Administration have for several years advised persons at high risk for complications, such as the elderly, young children and persons with compromised immune systems, not to eat raw sprouts because of the risk of contamination with Salmonella and other bacteria that can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, infections in those groups
Escherichia coli O26: Symptoms Similar to More Common E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O26 is a Shiga toxin-producing bacterium, similar to E. coli O157:H7. Illness caused by E. coli O26 can include symptoms of acute diarrhea, in particular, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps with little or no fever. The illness usually lasts one week. In some people, especially young children, the elderly, or those who are immunocompromised, a more severe illness, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), even death, is possible. Persons with HUS have kidney failure and often require dialysis and transfusions.
If you Contracted E. coli O26 - Let Simon & Luke Help You
If you or a loved one contracted E. coli in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, or Michigan since December 25, and were contacted by the health department, then you are likely related to this outbreak. If so, you are entitled to significant compensation for your illness, including payment for all of your past and future medical bills, pharmacy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages.
Please call Simon & Luke for a free consultation on your legal rights. Our E. coli and food poisoning lawyers can help you with your claim, lawsuit, and settlement in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, and all other affected areas. Michigan and Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Kent counties.
The firm has represented over 5000 victims of food-borne outbreaks in the past four years alone, and has collected over $500,000,000 for its clients.
If you have questions or information about this outbreak, please call us toll free at 1-888-335-4901 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we are here to help you.