Jimmy John’s pulls sprouts after salmonella probe

By Alejandra Cancino
Posted Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:56 p.m.

Jimmy John’s has asked its franchises to pull alfalfa sprouts believed to be tied to outbreaks of salmonella in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The sandwich chain says it is pulling them as a “good faith and good will gesture.”

Illinois health officials have confirmed that 43 Illinois residents and one Wisconsin resident have salmonella.

All residents said they ate alfalfa sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Adams, Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kankakee, Macon, McHenry, McLean, Peoria and Will counties, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

IDPH officials said alfalfa sprout producers and suppliers are being investigated, and produce testing is ongoing. Three other reported cases are still under investigation.

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.

IDPH has advised the sandwich company to remove alfalfa from its menus. However, the company said earlier today that there hasn’t been an official warning to remove the sprouts.

“Like other restaurants, we are working with the State of Illinois Health Department as they investigate the source of the illness,” the company said in a statement.

With the Associated Press.

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  1. Fed-Up Dec. 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Have to be honest with you, only been to Jim and John’s place once and it was ok. But just like Subway and when they had some problems I’ve never been back.
    See ya Jim,John

  2. Cheryl Dec. 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    …she read as she’s looking at her Jimmy John’s sub next to her on her desk. Gross.

  3. Yum Dec. 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Unfortunate for this to happen. Jimmy John’s usually has outstanding quality, and the bread is so freakin good. Won’t stop me from eating there.

  4. FAL Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    There have been salmonella outbreaks in the past at other food outlets. In numerous cases it was the sprouts. There must be something about being able to wash them properly.

  5. Bluecrane Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    This is a setup. The food at Jimmy Johns is so bland and boring that nothing could survive in it let alone have the strength to harm somebody.

  6. stefchgo Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Pretty sure I was affected by this in early November. I ask for “ez” sprouts on my Beach Club now. Love the Jimmy too much to give it up due to one incident.

  7. johnp234 Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    “Yum Today at 5:52 pm
    Unfortunate for this to happen. Jimmy John’s usually has outstanding quality, and the bread is so freakin good. Won’t stop me from eating there.”

    It will for a couple of days, if you get it!

  8. gordo Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I’ll go back if they are willing to bag my sandwich

  9. zorro Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    i can hear the new radio commercials:

    “you want salmonella fast?
    how fast?
    salmonella so fast you’ll freak!”

  10. Jeeper Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    My buddy and I almost went to JJs today for a Beach Club when he told me about this story. I would have still gone for one (without the sprouts) but my buddy was being a little girl and wanted to avoid it at all costs…JJ’s…my #1 sub.

  11. DF Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    About six years ago I got sick after eating a Jimmy Johns sandwich that had mayo on it. I never went back after that. Jimmy Johns does not keep their mayo and other things refrigerated and leaves this stuff laying around.

  12. Leigh Dec. 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Mmmm… Jimmy Johns is yummy. This is making me hungry!

  13. Analysis Dec. 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I ate at Jimmy John’s once, and got deathly sick. No surprise here.

  14. Lucy Bowels Dec. 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I wonder if that’s why…

  15. Brian Dec. 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    The golden rule on sprouts: Don’t eat anything you’d pick off a bar of soap.

  16. Sarah Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:27 a.m.

    JJ’s rocks! It’s affecting them because no other sandwich places are cool enough to offer sprouts. I’ll just forego the sprouts for a few visits while the suppliers get their crap together, and continue to enjoy my JJ’s. No one has quality meat and cheese like JJ’s. Believe me, if you really knew the quality of lunchmeat that Subway offers, you would only eat at JJ’s.

  17. jared Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:28 a.m.

    What a tasty way to lose ten pounds freaking fast!

  18. bob Dec. 21, 2010 at 7:00 a.m.

    I didn”t know it has become a vegen restraunt ,that will teach those strange people who’s god is that peta group of idiots

  19. Getalife Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.

    bob was that English?

    It made no sense, seemed like some demented rant on eating vegetables.

  20. Robbie Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:18 a.m.

    Bob, you’re pretty sick, aren’t you? Just because vegan’s don’t want to see an animal die and suffer for someone to have a meal certainly doesn’t mean they’re wrong. I guess you think killing people is okay, too???? To bad you didn’t end up on Jeffrey Dahmer’s dinnger plate – the world would then be a better place.

  21. USMCvet50 Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:20 a.m.

    Remember each Jimmy John’s uses a different produce vendor. I would ask the store if they had talked to their vendor to see if the sprouts they have been receiving have been tested.

  22. Rider Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:24 a.m.

    Modern mayo is too acidic to maintain bacteria, google it sometime. Onions are the culprit quite often. Jimmy Johns is pretty bland, at least at Subway you can put jalapenos or anything else on a sub. Freaky sick, freaky fast!!

  23. Bill Bibly Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:11 a.m.

    Sarah, “no one” has quality meats and cheese like Jimmy John’s? You can get a better deli sandwich made at a supermarket than you can at JJ’s.

  24. Laughing Gravy Dec. 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve never been to Jimmy John’s because of their creepy commercials with bank robbers, terrorists, and SWAT teams. Couldn’t happen to a nicer place.

  25. KGF Dec. 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I guessed the problem was due to sprouts at JJ even before clicking on the full article. Sprouts are gross and a frequent food disease culprit. JJ is usually very good, so I don’t blame them…unless it happens again.

  26. Brian Dec. 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Jimmy Johns is my favorite next to Mr. Submarine. They are actually quite good. I’ll avoid them for now till the situation is cleared up. I’ll go back again.

  27. I LUV JIMMY Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Oh well, I always get my beach club w/o sprouts anyway

  28. Dave Dec. 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I guess sprouts don’t ‘Rock’ after all. Retards. Guess where I didn’t eat lunch today after their earlier press release…

  29. David B Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Compared to Subway, Quiznos and other independents, Jimmy Johns is a dump. Their (bad) attitude hasn’t changed over the years.

  30. David Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I went to one of their original shops about 5 years ago and swore I would never go back. Sometimes it take time for true colors to show thru.

  31. walter Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I could not believe the attitude of the statement they released earlier in the day – that they were not going to stop serving sprouts because “Sprouts rock”. WTF? Why on earth wouldn’t they put the health of their customers first and admit maybe they have a problem with the produce?

    Sounds like they let one of their 19 year old workers talk to the press.

    Serious PR blackeye.

  32. Gil Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    It could happen to anyone. It happened to Subway earlier this year.

  33. md Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I’m screwed. My entire portfolio is in sprout futures.

  34. gem Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    The sprouts were the best part of the sandwich at JJs. First, they took out the onions in the tuna fish salad (it’s all mayonnaise now) and now this. Boo.

  35. Sue Dec. 22, 2010 at 6:03 a.m.

    Each JJ’s gets their produce from different produce companies, so they ARE thinking of the customers by pulling sprouts until each produce company can complete independent testing on their crops. JJ’s is the only one affected because they’re the only ones who offer sprouts. All JJ’s sprouts have tested clean for the last few weeks; the salmonella incidents are actually from early November. Even though there is no longer a problem, JJ’s is pulling all sprouts temporarily to appease the government agencies and the general public. I still love you, JJ’s. :)

  36. Caveat Emptor Dec. 22, 2010 at 8:01 a.m.

    Sprouts in bags from a grocery story have a history of contamination.
    I stopped eating them.