By Shereen Siewert
Five people in Wisconsin have reported salmonella infections after eating raw sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants around the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
DHS officials are warning consumers not to eat sprouts from the sandwich chain until the investigation is complete.
In a prepared statement, Jimmy John’s president and CEO James North said food safety and the “welfare of our customers” are the business’s top priorities.
North said Jimmy John’s decided to stop serving sprouts, which are especially susceptible to bacteria growth because of the humid conditions in which they are grown, as a result of the investigation.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the most recent illness began Jan. 3 and that no hospitalizations or deaths have been reported. Specific Jimmy John’s locations where the food was purchased have not been listed.
Jimmy John’s sprouts were linked to previous outbreaks of salmonella in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In April, a norovirus outbreak that sickened abut 100 people was traced to Jimmy John’s in Weston, forcing the business to temporarily close to undergo a thorough cleaning.
Salmonella symptoms include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting and fever, although not all may be necessarily present, according to the Department of Health Services. Symptoms usually develop with six to 72 hours of consumption, with the illness lasting three to seven days. Most people recover without treatment.
Salmonella can still be transferred from person to person even after symptoms subside. Regularly washing hands with soap and water reduces the chance of spreading the bacteria.
Three more people have reportedly contracted the same strain of salmonella from eating sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Minnesota and Illinois, officials said.