Recently, Jimmy Johns restaurants were implicated in a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds of people after they consumed alfalfa sprouts served on the sandwiches that the restaurants serve. At least 59 Illinois residents became ill, and now Jimmy John Liautaud, owner of the chain, says that the restaurants will cease using alfalfa sprouts and instead use clover sprouts, which according to Liautaud are easier to sanitize.
Ironically, a Salmonella outbreak occurred just recently in Oregon and Washington that were related to clover sprouts. In Oregon, 2 residents became ill after consuming sandwiches that contained clover sprouts – sandwiches from Jimmy Johns. This leads us to question just how much safer clover sprouts are than alfalfa sprouts, if any. The clover sprouts used on the sandwiches were produced by Sprouters Northwest of Kent, Washington. Sprouters Northwest was found to be the source of the Salmonella contamination.
All in all, 125 people became ill after consuming Salmonella tainted sprouts between the dates of November 1, 2010 and January 11, 2011. The strain of Salmonella in these outbreaks is serotype I 4,,12:i:-. This strain spread through 22 states and the District of Columbia. Investigators concluded that the illnesses were related to eating sandwiches containing sprouts at Jimmy Johns restaurants.
As far as the states affected by the outbreak, Illinois was by far hit with more illnesses. 65 people were sickened in that state, with 22 in Missouri, 12 in Indiana, 3 in Wisconsin, 3 in Pennsylvania and other states reporting a single case of illness related to this strain of Salmonella.
Consumers are advised not to eat Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts, and restaurants should not serve them. Anyone who has the sprouts whether in their restaurant or home should dispose of them at once in a closed plastic bag.
Salmonella food poisoning typically causes symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. While not usually serious in healthy individuals, those who are young, frail or have a weakened immune system may be at an increased risk of serious complications and should seek medical attention if you experience symptoms.