Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, announced today that it is pledging $10,000 to the International Sprout Growers Association (ISGA) to assist in the development of a safer method for the production of sprouts. The contribution comes on the heels of a nationwide Salmonella outbreak caused by contaminated sprouts that has sickened almost 100 people.

“We are pledging this money to ISGA to apply as it sees fit with the ultimate goal being the development of a more effective sanitation measure in the production of sprouts,” said Marler Clark Managing Partner Bill Marler. “We recognize that sprout seeds are often the problem, but the seed industry has proven itself incapable of ensuring the safety of its products. Therefore the question of safety must fall to the sprout growers themselves, and this pledge is to help them in some small way achieve better safety.”

The sprout industry has recently come under fire for its foodborne illness record. Since 1990 sprouts have been attributed to at least 39 E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) thus far at least 94 people have become ill with Salmonella in the current outbreak and at least 22 of them have been hospitalized.

“With 39 sprout outbreaks in the last two decades and Jimmy John’s having been involved in three of those since 2008, the company is no longer an innocent bystander,” said Marler. “Jimmy John’s should consider matching our $10,000 pledge as an investment in the safety of its customers.”