The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a final report on the multistate outbreak of E. coli infection linked to sprouts in Jimmy John’s sandwiches.
Between late December 2011 and early March of 2012, 29 individuals were infected with E. coli O26 traced to raw clover sprouts from Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich restaurants.
The case count in the Final Case Update is up 4 from the last update on March 8, which identified 25 victims. Three of the new cases were from states that had not reported any outbreak-related illnesses as of March. Those states – Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia – each reported one case. Michigan’s victim count rose from 2 to 3.
The final breakdown of cases by state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Iowa (5), Kansas (2), Michigan (10), Missouri (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1) and West Virginia (1).
Seven of the infected people were hospitalized. None have developed HUS, a potential fatal complication of E. coli infections, and no deaths have been tied to the outbreak.
Of the 27 victims interviewed, 85 percent reported eating sprouts at Jimmy John’s in the 7 days before their symptoms began.
Almost all of those sickened – 89 percent – were female. Victims ranged in age from 9 to 57.
There were no recalls involved with this outbreak, and the CDC and Food and Drug Administration have not named the sprout supplier.
Raw sprouts, considered a high-risk food, have been associated with at least 40 foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. — mostly E. coli and Salmonella infections — since 1990. Raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurant franchises have been linked to five outbreaks in four years.
CDC Outbreak Map