FDA warns of E. coli outbreak at popular sandwich shop in Utah, 4 other states

The Jimmy John's location on Bluff Street in St. George, Utah, seen on Feb. 26, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a warning for those who have eaten clover sprouts in sandwiches from Jimmy John’s restaurants in five states, including Utah. 

Jimmy John’s location on Bluff Street in St. George, Utah, Feb. 26, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The FDA said Wednesday that illnesses stemming from E. coli bacteria in clover sprouts served in sandwiches at the restaurant have caused 14 illnesses nationwide since December, including three in Utah.

“We are advising consumers who may have recently eaten sprouts at Jimmy John’s to monitor for symptoms of an E. coli infection, and consumers should contact their health care provider if they have experienced common foodborne illness symptoms,” Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said in a statement.

None of the illnesses have resulted in hospitalizations, and the sprouts are no longer being served at Jimmy John’s locations after Feb. 24. 

St. George News confirmed with an employee at the Jimmy John’s location on Bluff Street in St. George that clover sprouts are not currently being served at their restaurant. 

Jimmy John’s has four locations in St. George and one in Cedar City. 

Doctors and patients can report an illness to a local health department, such as the Utah Department of Health

A microscopic view of the Escherichia coli O157:H7, or E. coli, bacteria | Stock image, St. George News

According to the CDC, symptoms can include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea and/or vomiting.

The FDA also recommends if consumers have a leftover sandwich from Jimmy John’s with clover sprouts to not eat it and throw it away. 

“Upon learning that this new outbreak is likely linked to clover sprouts from Jimmy John’s restaurants in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Utah, the FDA activated a team to initiate a traceback investigation, and federal health officials will continue to monitor for illnesses,” Yiannas said. 

On Tuesday, the FDA issued a warning to Jimmy John’s saying it has not been properly monitoring the food safety of its products. The federal agency said the restaurants have been implicated in multiple outbreaks that have spanned the past seven years and impacted consumers in no fewer than 17 states. 

“Jimmy John’s has not demonstrated implementation of long-term sustainable corrections to its supply chain to assure the safety of ingredients used in its products,” Yiannas said. “Americans expect the foods they consume to be safe. We will hold companies accountable when they do not take adequate measures to ensure the safety of the foods they provide.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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