Jack and The Green Sprouts E. coli Outbreak in Wisconsin and Minnesota


Eleven people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157 were reported from two states. The number of ill people identified in each state was as follows: Minnesota (8) and Wisconsin (3).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 17, 2016 to February 17, 2016. Ill people ranged in age from 17 years to 84, with a median age of 28. Of ill people, 73%  were female. Two ill people were hospitalized. No one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths were reported.

Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory officials indicated that alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts of River Falls, Wisconsin were the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of the nine ill people who were interviewed, all nine (100%) reported eating or possibly eating alfalfa sprouts in the week before illness started.

State and local health and regulatory officials performed traceback investigations from eight different locations where ill people ate or bought alfalfa sprouts. These investigations indicated that Jack & The Green Sprouts supplied alfalfa sprouts to all eight locations.

On February 24, 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a press release warning consumers not to eat alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts. On February 25, 2016, Jack & The Green Sprouts, Inc. voluntarily recalled all alfalfa and alfalfa onion sprout products. Sprouts were packaged in a plastic clamshell container with a round, brightly colored label on top that notes the sprout variety. Any recalled sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts still on the market or in consumers' homes would be past their expiration date.

Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts). You can reduce your risk of illness by requesting that raw sprouts not be added to your food.

Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O157 typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever. People typically become ill two to five days after exposure, but this period can range from one to eight days. Most people recover in five to 10 days. However, E. coli O157 infections sometimes lead to a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and other severe problems, including death. Those most at risk of developing complications from E. coli O157 include children younger than 10, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

Contact the Marler Clark E. coli Attorneys

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection after consuming contaminated food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, you can contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation. Marler Clark is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and other foodborne illnesses. The law firm has represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections, and is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.

You can fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 866-770-2032. There is no cost to you.

Additional Resources