Federal and state health officials announced the investigation into a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections sickening eight people in three states–Wisconsin (5), Illinois (2) and Minnesota (1).
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants are a likely source of this multistate outbreak. Ill people in this outbreak report eating raw sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Seven (88%) of eight people interviewed reported eating at multiple Jimmy John’s restaurant locations. Of these seven people, all seven (100%) reported eating raw sprouts on a sandwich from Jimmy John’s in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine where the sprouts were distributed, and to learn more about the potential route of contamination.
Raw and lightly cooked sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness and outbreaks.
Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts). People with weakened immune systems include people undergoing cancer treatment, people with HIV/AIDS, people with diabetes, and other groups.
If you are in one of these groups more likely to get a foodborne illness, ask food workers not to add raw or lightly cooked sprouts to your meal. If you buy a sandwich or salad at a restaurant or deli, check to make sure that it does not have raw sprouts.
If you choose to eat sprouts, cook them thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Thoroughly cooking sprouts kills the harmful bacteria.
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