A total of 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. Coli O26, from Jimmy Johns sandwiches containing clover sprouts, have been reported from 6 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Iowa (5), Missouri (3), Kansas (2), Michigan (2), Arkansas (1), and Wisconsin (1). Two ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Preliminary results of the epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicate eating raw clover sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants is the likely cause of this outbreak. Among the 14 persons for whom information is available, illnesses onset dates range from December 25, 2011 to February 7, 2012. Ill persons range in age from 9 years to 49 years old, with a median age of 25 years old. One hundred percent of ill persons are female. Among the 14 ill persons, 2 (14%) were hospitalized. None have developed HUS, and no deaths have been reported. Illnesses that occurred after February 4, 2012, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.
FDA’s traceback investigation is ongoing. Preliminary traceback information has identified a common lot of clover seeds used to grow clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurant locations where ill persons ate. FDA and states conducted a traceback that identified two separate sprouting facilities; both used the same lot of seed to grow clover sprouts served at these Jimmy John’s restaurant locations. On February 10, 2012, the seed supplier initiated notification of sprouting facilities that received this lot of clover seed to stop using it. Investigations are ongoing to identify other locations that may have sold clover sprouts grown from this seed lot.