The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain saying certain vegetables it served were implicated in five E. coli and salmonella outbreaks over the past seven years. According to a CNN news report, the letter accuses the chain of engaging in a pattern of receiving and selling tainted fresh produce, especially sprouts and cucumbers. Jimmy John’s restaurants have been implicated in multiple outbreaks that have spanned seven years and have affected consumers in at least 17 states, FDA officials said.
Correcting the Violations
They also said that the sandwich chain has not implemented any “long-term sustainable corrections” to its supply chain to ensure the safety of ingredients used in its products. Jimmy John’s has removed sprouts from all its locations, the company’s president James North told CNN.
The FDA letter says Jimmy John’s should respond with the specific steps they are taking to address this violation within 15 days of receiving the letter. The FDA also sent a similar warning letter to a supplier of Jimmy John’s who they say provided sprouts to the restaurant chain that sickened 22 people in Iowa late last year with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.
E.Coli and Salmonella Outbreaks
There were several outbreaks involving these sprouts and raw cucumbers that were consumed at the sandwich chain. As of Feb. 28, 2018, a salmonella outbreak had infected 10 people in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Of those, eight people had eaten sprouts on Jimmy John’s sandwiches, and one ate sprouts bought at a grocery store.
An E. coli outbreak that infected 19 people of August 2014 in California, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Utah and Washington involved people eating clover sprouts in the week before becoming sick and Jimmy John’s was determined to have been the likely source in some of those cases. In October 2013, eight people in Colorado were infected by E. coli, and all reported having eaten raw cucumbers from one of three Jimmy John’s restaurants in the Denver area. Also, on April 5, 2012, an E-coli outbreak that sickened 29 people across 11 states involved sprouts from the sandwich chain.
If You Have Been Affected
Both E. coli and salmonella infections can cause serious and long-term health effects for those who are affected. If you have been affected, it is important that you receive prompt medical attention, care and treatment. It is also important that you contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who will preserve your rights and help you secure fair and full compensation for your damages and losses.