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News Wed Dec 22 2010

I Had Jimmy Johns Yesterday. And I'm Sort Of Concerned About It.

If you haven't heard, Jimmy Johns locations across Illinois have removed alfalfa sprouts from their menus due to a salmonella outbreak that left dozens of people ill. From NBC.com:

The request came from the man himself -- Jimmy John Liautaud -- in a letter to franchisees: "Approximately 88 people have gotten ill in 15 states," he wrote. "Of those, 40 have been interviewed. Of those 40, 28 have eaten at Jimmy John's. Of those 28, 25 have eaten sprouts."

I'm not a sprout eater by nature. It's not that they're notorious purveyors of all kinds of foodborne illnesses -- it's that I just don't really care for the taste. Yesterday though, by sheer accident, I was handed a vegetarian sub avec alfalfa and decided confidently that, "Yes, today I will take the first step toward healthy eating." Of course it's no Bootlegger Club with extra bacon, but what's the worst that could possibly happen, right? Well apparently vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and rose-colored spots on my chest. Rose. Colored. Spots. If you're out there Liataud, I want you to know that if I come out the other side of this, I'm having my first meal at Potbelly.

Elyse / December 23, 2010 11:34 AM

Let's really look at the statistics of the NBC article quoted above. The IDPH has empirical evidence that only 30% of almost 100 people who have been ill with this salmonella outbreak ate sprouts at Jimmy Johns. Even if we only consider only the 40 people interviewed, two thirds of them ate sprouts. So if sprouts are the demon, how did the other 30%-70% of the respondents get sick? Some smoking gun that is. I'm willing to bet that a greater percentage of those who fell ill ate sliced tomatoes, chopped lettuce, and/or processed deli meat than sprouts.

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