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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

CDC updates Jimmy Johns E. coli outbreak case count to 14; have the seeds been recalled?

Fourteen are now ill in the Jimmy Johns sprouts E. coli O26 outbreak, two confirmed cases having just been added by the CDC.  The cases are from Michigan.  There are also 5 other suspect cases in Michigan, so the total number of ill in this outbreak is now likely 19, and today’s announcement is a little scary, as the latest onset date is February 7, meaning people might still be ill and have yet to be counted in this outbreak.  The shaded portion in the chart below contains CDC’s thoughts on the subject, and indicates that illnesses occuring between February 2 and today may not yet have been reported.  So, again, how big is this outbreak?

sprouts epi curve.jpg

Here is a burning question that somebody needs to answer.  The CDC’s original announcement on February 12 indicated that the suspect clover sprouts were grown from a common lot of seeds at different sprouting locations, and that the seed company had contacted customers to let them know not to use the sprout seeds.  Has there really been no recall of the implicated lot of seeds?  How can that possibly be the case?  It does not seem that there is much epidemiological uncertainty as to what caused this outbreak, or whether the seeds were the problem. 

Another burning question.  Lawsuits were filed this week in the Jimmy Johns sprouts E. coli outbreak.  How many will be filed next week?