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Jimmy John's Alfalfa Sprouts Salmonella Outbreak

Between November 1, 2010 and February 9, 2011, at least 140 people from 26 states and the District of Columbia became ill with Salmonella serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- infections after consuming food from Jimmy John’s restaurants.

The CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and public health officials in many states conducted a collaborative investigation of the multi-state outbreak of Salmonella serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- infections and learned that Jimmy John’s customers who had become ill during the Salmonella outbreak had eaten sprouts on their sandwiches. This prompted FDA and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to conduct an inspection of Tiny Greens Organic Farm, a supplier of sprouts for Jimmy John’s restaurant outlets.

During the Salmonella outbreak trace-back investigation, FDA collected both product and environmental samples from Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Illinois. One environmental (water run-off) sample yielded Salmonella serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- that was indistinguishable from the outbreak strain by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). The results of the investigation indicated a link between Salmonella serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- infection and eating Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts (which contain alfalfa sprouts mixed with radish and clover sprouts) at Jimmy John’s restaurant outlets.

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