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Jimmy John’s Receives FDA Warning About Contaminated Produce

 Posted on February 29, 2020 in E. Coli

Jimmy John’s Receives FDA Warning About Contaminated ProduceThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to the sandwich restaurant chain Jimmy John’s, claiming that the franchise has repeatedly purchased adulterated produce. The FDA identified sprouts and cucumbers as the adulterated products and cited five outbreaks of E. coli or salmonella linked to the restaurants since 2012. Though Jimmy John’s removed sprouts from its stores as a precautionary measure, the FDA said the franchise needs to take corrective action to prevent such outbreaks from continuing to occur. E. coli and salmonella infections can be potentially fatal to young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

What Is Adulterated Produce?

Adulterating food normally refers to adding or replacing ingredients in a food product that may cause harm to those who consume it. For instance, a food manufacturer may replace a natural ingredient in its product with an artificial one, which causes people to become sick upon eating it. In the Jimmy John’s case, the E. coli and salmonella are not artificial ingredients but poisonous substances that have contaminated the produce. Though the producer did not intentionally add the contaminants, it still meets the legal definition of adulterated because there is enough of the contaminant to cause harm.

History of Outbreaks

The FDA accused Jimmy John’s of lacking the control mechanisms to prevent it from continuing to purchase contaminated produce. As previously referenced, the FDA cited five recent food poisoning cases:

  • April 2012: An E. coli outbreak traced back to sprouts sold at Jimmy John’s restaurants infected 29 people from 11 states.
  • October 2013: Eight people from Colorado were infected with E. coli, with all of them reporting having eaten cucumbers on a Jimmy John’s sandwich.
  • August 2014: Nineteen people from six states were infected by an E. coli outbreak that was traced back to raw sprouts, with a majority of the infected sprouts coming from Jimmy John’s restaurants.
  • February 2018: Ten people from Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin received salmonella infections from eating sprouts, with most of the cases linked to Jimmy John’s restaurants.
  • November 2019: Twenty-two people in Iowa were infected by E. coli, with all of them reporting that they had recently eaten at one of 15 Jimmy John’s locations.

Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Lawyer

A restaurant may be liable for your food poisoning case if it continued to purchase and serve a product that it knew had a high risk of being contaminated. An Illinois food poisoning attorney at Newland & Newland, LLC, can help you establish the restaurant’s negligence in serving you contaminated food. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409.


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