Sprouts make headlines again

Sprouts once again are linked to a food borne illness outbreak. Jimmy John’s, a popular Illinois-based sandwich chain, has removed sprouts from its menu after 12 people in five states developed E. coli poisoning. More information on the December outbreak and subsequent lawsuit from an Iowa woman are on Marler Blog.

Five cases have been linked and two confirmed in Michigan this month. The confirmed cases have the same genetic fingerprint as the Jimmy John’s linked illnesses, and the CDC is reporting a total of 14 people in six states have been infected. The Feb. 24 CDC posting is located here (http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2012/O26-02-12/index.html).

There have been at least 30 outbreaks with sprouts since 1996, and the most common pathogens associated with them are Salmonella and E. Coli. Cooking can help reduce the risk of illness, but if you want to decrease your risk of consuming contaminated sprouts and you’re eating out…ask that your meal be prepared sans sprouts. Simply taking off the sprouts after your meal has been served may not offer any protection, as the woman who filed a lawsuit against Jimmy John’s unfortunately had to find out the hard way.


About Ryan Walker

Michigan State University graduate student in the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition.
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