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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

FDA warns Jimmy John's over multiple human illness outbreaks in Iowa

The warning letter was written directly to Jimmy John's President James North.
Credit: John Locher

IOWA, USA — On Monday, February 25, the U.S Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to the President of the popular sandwich chain Jimmy John's after a recent outbreak of illnesses due to some of their food. 

The letter outlines five separate cases here in Iowa linked to Jimmy John's.

The FDA claims that Jimmy John's, "engaged in a pattern of receiving and offering for sale adulterated fresh produce, specifically clover sprouts and cucumbers." 

The pathogens found in evidence from the FDA and the Center for Disease Control are Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. 

The five cases linked to Jimmy John's include an outbreak of infections with E. coli O103 from November-December in 2019, infections with Salmonella Montevideo in February of 2018, infections with E. coli O102 in 2014, infections with E. coli O157:H7 in October 2013 and infections with E. coli O26 in April 2012. 

Jimmy John's stated to the FDA back in 2012 that they would only receive their sprouts from "(b) (4)" suppliers. However, FDA evidence shows that they were also receiving and distributing sprouts from other sources. 

The FDA has expressed their concerns with the way Jimmy John's has been handling the situation since their 2012 and 2019 outbreaks. 

They are now requesting that Jimmy John's President James North provide physical evidence of steps the company has made to fix the problem and plans it has to prevent something like this from happening again.  

   "It is your responsibility to ensure your firm complies with all requirements of federal law and implementing regulations. You should take prompt action to correct all violations noted in this letter. Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in enforcement action by FDA without further notice, including seizure and/or injunction," said the warning letter from the FDA. 

To read the full warning letter from the FDA, click here