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Jimmy John's restaurants throughout the state on Tuesday were asked to pull alfalfa sprouts from their menus as a precautionary measure after reports of a salmonella outbreak.
The request came from the man himself -- Jimmy John Liautaud -- in a letter to franchisees.
"Approximately 88 people have gotten ill in 15 states," he wrote. "Of those, 40 have been interviewed. Of those 40, 28 have eaten at Jimmy John's. Of those 28, 25 have eaten sprouts."
Liautaud said the company's main supplier of spouts was tested last Friday and has come up negative for salmonella. The Illinois Department of Public Health said it had received 46 reports of people falling ill since Nov. 1.
“We are working closely with the state and they are doing a darn good job in helping find the source,” said Liautaud. “Again, no source has been found yet. This is a precautionary measure.”
Symptoms of illness caused by salmonella include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps. Illness usually develops within six to 72 hours after being exposed to salmonella bacteria. Nearly 2,000 cases of the foodborne illness are reported each year in Illinois, the IDPH said.