The FDA traceback investigation identified a common lot of clover seeds used to grow clover sprouts served at Jimmy John's restaurant locations where E. coli outbreak victims ate as the source of illness.
Overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 29 E. coli outbreak victims who had eaten raw clover sprouts at Jimmy John's locations. Victims of the outbreak were identified in 11 states: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Iowa (5), Kansas (2), Michigan (10), Missouri (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1) and West Virginia (1).
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 E. coli or Salmonella outbreaks in four years.