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FDA Issues Warning Letter to Jimmy John’s Chain

02/27/2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC concerning outbreaks of salmonellosis and E. coli (STEC) strains.  The communication dated February 25th addressed to James North, president of the company noted an initial outbreak involving 22 confirmed cases in Iowa effected by E. coli O:103.  This outbreak was attributed to contaminated sprouts.

 

The second outbreak occurred in February 2018, involving ten cases of Salmonella Montevideo in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  This outbreak was also associated with consuming raw sprouts.

 

The third outbreak involving E. coli a O157:H7 (STEC) occurred in Colorado and involved eight confirmed cases all of whom had consumed sandwiches with raw cucumbers at one of three Jimmy John’s restaurants.

 

In April 2012, 29 cases from eleven states were infected with an outbreak of E. coli O:26 also associated with contaminated sprouts following traceback to a single source.

 

The FDA warning letter confirms that Jimmy John’s failed to maintain sustainable corrective action promised following the 2012 through 2019 outbreaks.

 

The company is obliged to respond within 15-days from receipt of the warning letter confirming corrective action.  As with all warning letters, the FDA noted “failure to promptly correct violations may result in enforcement action by FDA without further notice, including seizure and or injunction.”  The supplier of sprouts to Jimmy John’s also received a warning letter.