The CDC has announced that they are currently investigating a salmonella, otherwise known as food poisoning, outbreak that is linked to raw bean sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin. This multi-state outbreak has currently been limited to Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The most recent occurrence began on January 3, 2018. Currently only eight people have been infected with no hospitalizations or deaths being reported at this time. However, this outbreak is still under investigation and more cases will be announced as they occur.
It is currently unknown by the Centers for Disease Control where the bean sprouts came from and where they were distributed. At this time, they are asking that people refrain from consuming bean sprouts from any Jimmy Johns location in Illinois or Wisconsin. Additionally, they advised that children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should not consume raw or lightly cooked bean sprouts of any kind. They are also asking that all bean sprouts be thoroughly cooked before being consumed.
While there have not been any hospitalizations or deaths linked to this outbreak, symptoms can last from four to seven days; more in people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, cold and chills, and bloody stool. Most cases can be treated at home without medical assistance or Telehealth assistance. However, medical assistance should be obtained if bloody stools, dehydration, or an ongoing high fever are experienced. People with weakened immune systems or elderly patients may need to be prescribed antibiotics for treatment.
In the event that medical intervention is necessary, Telehealth can be a convenient way to obtain medical assistance. This service provides mental assistance telephonically, which prevents the patient from having to visit a medical office or hospital to obtain medical treatment. While salmonella is not typically fatal, in some cases antibiotics may need to be prescribed. Telehealth is extremely helpful for patients who are elderly, home bound, have weakened immune systems and should not be around other ill patients, and even for children with working parents. One phone call can provide necessary medical treatment for those who are having issues with salmonella poisoning from this outbreak.
At this time, the CDC is still investigating this outbreak. Additional information will be provided as the CDC discovers more about the distribution and origin of the infected bean sprouts and the occurrences, if any, of additional cases.