Six illnesses in Illinois are believed be connected to a multistate E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts from Jimmy John’s restaurants, according to the state’s health department.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said illnesses reported in Adams, Champaign and Jackson counties match the outbreak strain connected to the sprouts.
Illnesses began on Jan. 6 and continued through Feb. 11, the department reported.
According to the CDC, 14 cases have so far been reported in five states, including Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Utah.
The FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas said clover sprouts from Jimmy John’s restaurants were believed to be the source of the outbreak.
The sandwich chain notified stores to remove sprouts from its menu nationwide beginning on Feb. 22, health officials said. By Feb. 24, all restaurants had stopped serving clover sprouts entirely.
“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,” Yiannas said in a statement. “If consumers have a leftover sandwich with clover sprouts from Jimmy John’s, do not eat it and throw it away.”
The FDA said authorities are still investigating if the sprouts were distributed elsewhere and are monitoring for additional illnesses.
Jimmy Johns said it was "cooperating with the CDC and FDA to identify the supplier(s) responsible for a recent outbreak related to sprouts."
"Food safety and the welfare of our customers are our top priorities," the company said in a statement.