The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O121 infections linked to raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC of Moyie Springs, Idaho.
According to the CDC, as of May 21, 2014, seven confirmed and three probable cases of E. coli O121 illnesses have been reported in the states of Washington and Idaho. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Idaho (3) and Washington (7). Fifty percent of ill persons have been hospitalized. No ill persons have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths have been reported.
Results from initial state and local epidemiologic investigations indicate a strong link to eating raw clover sprouts. In interviews, nine (90%) of ten ill persons reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before becoming ill. This proportion is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy persons in which 8% reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before they were interviewed.
FDA, the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) are warning consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC. According to state authorities, five cases were reported in Spokane County, Washington; two in King County, Washington; and three in Kootenai County, Idaho.
WDOH reports that initial investigations indicate a strong link to eating raw clover spouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho. Sprouts were eaten in sandwiches at several food establishments located in the states of Washington and Idaho, including Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches locations in King and Spokane counties, as well as two Pita Pit locations in Spokane County, and a Jimmy John’s location and Daanen’s Deli in Kootenai County. The restaurants where the cases reported eating raw clover sprouts have voluntarily suspended serving sprouts.
WDOH also reports that the producer distributed sprouts to other restaurants, as well as retail grocery stores where consumers may buy them for home consumption.
FDA continues its investigation in order to identify what contributed to the contamination of the food product causing the outbreak.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s. We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.