don't eat the sprouts
February 27, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to the sandwich chain Jimmy John's earlier this month, warning the company that it must take measures to fix food safety violations that are linked to several outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella.

The FDA told Jimmy John's it has "engaged in a pattern of receiving and offering for sale adulterated fresh produce, specifically clover sprouts and cucumbers," and its system for receiving these items is deficient. The letter was dated Feb. 15, and gave the company 15 days to come up with changes to address the issue.

In an email to CBS News, Jimmy John's President Jim North said food safety is the company's "top priority." Sprouts present "particular challenges," and Jimmy John's has decided to "permanently remove" them from all restaurants.

There are 2,800 Jimmy John's in 43 states, and since 2012, the FDA has traced one salmonella and four E. coli outbreaks back to the chain, CBS News reports. Those incidents left 90 people sick in 17 states. Late last year, there was an E. coli outbreak in Iowa that left 22 people sick; almost every person affected reported to state health officials that they ate at a Jimmy John's. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads