The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC saying that the company, which has been linked to at least five food poisoning outbreaks over the last seven years, has “engaged in a pattern of receiving and offering for sale adulterated fresh produce, specifically clover sprouts and cucumbers.”
The FDA told Jimmy John’s that the outbreaks show a company-wide failure when it comes to food safety controls for receiving fresh produce and that it must document the steps it will take to correct this problem impacting all 2,800 of its locations. The company has 15 days to respond to the FDA.
The agency also sent a warning letter to Sprouts Unlimited, the company that produced the sprouts linked to the most recent Jimmy John’s E. coli outbreak which sickened 22 people in Iowa last month. That letter outlines a number of corrective actions the company must take.
“As an E. coli lawyer who has represented clients in these Jimmy John’s outbreaks, it’s hard for me to understand why the FDA has waited this long to take such minimal action,” said Fred Pritzker, founder of the national law firm Pritzker Hageman. “The FDA warning letter cites five outbreaks going back to 2012, but sprouts on Jimmy John’s sandwiches were also linked to outbreaks in 2011, 2010 and 2009. One warning letter after a decade of food poisoning?”
The FDA warning letter cites five Jimmy John’s outbreaks: a 2019 E. coli O103 outbreak linked to sprouts produced by Sprouts Unlimited, a 2018 Salmonella Montevideo outbreak linked to sprouts, a 2014 E. coli O102 outbreak linked to sprouts, a 2013 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to cucumbers and a 2012 E. coli O26 outbreak linked to sprouts.
It’s not clear why, in outlining Jimmy John’s food safety failures, the FDA omitted a 2011 Salmonella Newport outbreak that sickened six people in Oregon and Washington, a 2010 Salmonella outbreak that sickened 140 people in 26 states and the District of Columbia some of whom ate the sprouts on Jimmy John’s sandwiches and a 2009 Salmonella sprouts outbreak that sickened 235 people in 14 states some of whom ate the sprouts on Jimmy John’s sandwiches.
The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman represent clients nationwide who have sickened by contaminated food. If you would like to request a free consultation with our E. coli Team, call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.