The FDA sent out a warning letter to James North, the President of Jimmy John’s restaurant regarding foodborne illness linked to Jimmy John’s and Sprouts Unlimited Wholesale foods.
The letter was sent via certified mail on Tuesday, February 25, 2019, detailed 22 illnesses in November and December 2019, which were linked to Jimmy John’s produce. Specifically named were their clover sprouts and cucumbers, which were supplied to the, according to the FDA, by Sprouts Unlimited Wholesale Foods. Working along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local partners the restaurants outbreaks have been investigated.
The warning letter lays out evidence from five outbreaks, including the most recent outbreak in the state of Iowa during November and December 2019, of human infections with Escherichia coli O103, a Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC).The pathogens associated with these outbreaks are STECs and Salmonella enterica. STECs can cause serious illness in humans, including diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. This condition can lead to serious kidney damage and death. Salmonella is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections. These infections can be especially serious in young children.
Ilnesses have been reported in Idaho, Montana, Michigan, Utah, California, and Washington.
The FDA is currently developing a Strategic Blueprint that will outline how the agency plans to leverage technology and other tools, to create a more digital, traceable and safer food system. This work will build on the advances that have been and are being made in the FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act to further strengthen prevention of foodborne illnesses.
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