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Article Summary

The CDC has linked a multi-state outbreak of E. coli infections to clover sprouts served on sandwiches at Jimmy John’s sub sandwiches.

As of February 26, 2020, the outbreak is believed to have sickened at least 14 people in five states: Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, and Texas. More cases are likely.

OFT’s Food Safety & Injury Lawyers are actively investigating this outbreak, and have been since the announcement of a potentially related outbreak announced in December, 2019 that led to a recall of clover sprouts distributed by Sprouts Unlimited, Inc.

Anyone who may have been sickened in this outbreak should contact one of the OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers for a free consultation about the possibility of seeking compensation for their pain & suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.

We will update this page as further information becomes available.

Full Article

Outbreak of E. Coli Linked to Clover Sprouts on Jimmy John’s Sandwiches

February 26, 2020 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has linked a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O103 infections to clover sprouts served on sandwiches at Jimmy John’s sub sandwiches. As of February 26, 2020, the outbreak is believed to have sickened at least 14 people in five states: Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, and Texas.

As of February 24, 2020, Jimmy John’s has stopped offering clover sprouts on its sandwiches, but any leftover sandwiches containing clover sprouts should be thrown away. Because there is usually a 3-4 week lag between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health authorities, more cases are likely to arise.

Food safety lawyer Brendan Flaherty

OFT Food Safety Lawyer Brendan Flaherty has represented people sickened by eating at Jimmy John’s restaurants in the past. “Jimmy John’s does not have a good track record, and has repeatedly failed to ensure the safety of the ingredients that its franchises serve,” he said. “In fact, just yesterday the FDA publicly censured Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC by issuing a warning letter for engaging in a repeated pattern of serving unsafe fresh produce.”

Investigators are still attempting to determine the ultimate source of the tainted clover sprouts. But the E. coli strain in this outbreak appears to be closely related to the strain of E. coli found in clover sprouts distributed by Sprouts Unlimited, Inc. and served to customers at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Iowa last December.

What is E. coli?

Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli, is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the environment, food, and in human and animal intestines. The strains of E. coli that cause illness in humans are those that produce the Shiga toxin (STEC, VTEC, EHEC).

While the symptoms associated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli vary, the most common signs of an E. coli infection are:

  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea/Bloody stool
  • Vomiting
  • A slight fever

E. coli, like many bacteria and viruses, has an incubation period. This is a delay between when someone is exposed to the bacteria and when that person displays symptoms. For E. coli, the incubation period can last between one and 10 days, with an average of three-four days for when symptoms begin to show.

E. coli often starts as an upset stomach and non-bloody diarrhea, which will then escalate over several days.

Up to 10% of individuals suffering from a STEC infection develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a life-threatening condition. HUS develops about seven days after the first E. coli symptoms appear and when the diarrhea is improving. HUS can cause a person’s kidneys to stop working. If you notice the signs, you should get yourself or loved one to the hospital for treatment right away.

Symptoms of HUS include:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of pink color in cheeks and lower eyelids

Contact us for more information

OFT Law offers free consultations to anybody potentially impacted by this outbreak. Our food safety lawyers can answer your questions and help you pursue compensation.

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$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

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E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

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A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

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Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks

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A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant

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A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia

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A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash