Salmonella Lawsuit Blames Jimmy John’s, Alfalfa Sprouts For Illness

The <"">Salmonella outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts that has sickened—at last count, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—94 people in 16 states and the District of Columbia has led to a lawsuit involving a 16-year-old girl, said Chicago Breaking News.

The girl’s family claims she was sickened after eating at a Jimmy John’s restaurant and is suing both the restaurant and the farm that grew the sprouts that were part of the sandwich, wrote Chicago Breaking News.

The complaint accuses Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Tiny Greens Organic Farm with a variety of counts including negligence and product liability and seeks unspecified damages, according to Chicago Breaking News. As of yesterday afternoon, Bill Bagby, the owner of Tiny Greens, was unaware he was named as a defendant, noted Chicago Breaking News.

Initial cases began being reported on November 1st, said CNN previously, with many of those sickened having eaten alfalfa sprouts that were in Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches products. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recalled sprouts came from Tiny Greens Organic Farm.

The Tiny Green’s alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts, a combination of radish and clover sprouts, were distributed to farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and restaurants; Jimmy John’s was one of the restaurants involved. Tiny Green’s also distributes, among other produce, arugula, broccoli, fennel, cauliflower, onion, and radish, wrote CNN previously.

In a letter to its Jimmy John’s franchisees, founder Jimmy John Liautaud said it removed the sprouts from all its Illinois locations; the sprouts were distributed to Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri. On December 29 the firm voluntarily recalled the entire lot of alfalfa sprouts identified by the CDC, said Chicago Breaking News, which noted that only about half of the cases occurred in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took about 300 samples from Tiny Greens; none has turned up positive for Salmonella, according to Chicago Breaking News.

The CDC believes, based on interviews with those who fell ill in Illinois and who had eaten Jimmy John’s sandwiches with Tiny Greens organic sprouts, that sufficient proof of an “epidemiological” link existed for the FDA to issue its consumer warning on December 27th, wrote Chicago Breaking News.

According to Tiny Greens’ owner, sprouts issued to outlets other than Jimmy John’s have not been linked to reported illnesses, reported Chicago Breaking News. Bagby was unable to confirm this with the CDC.

The Salmonella pathogen can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in young children, frail, or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis. Salmonellosis, the disease caused by the Salmonella bacteria, can last four to seven days, said the CDC. Some 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported annually in the U.S.

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