- The FDA accused Jimmy John’s of engaging in a pattern of selling “adulterated” sprouts and cucumbers that have been linked to outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella.
- The letter demanded that Jimmy John’s address the FDA’s concerns about food safety or face “enforcement action by FDA without further notice, including seizure and/or injunction.”
- In response to the letter, Jimmy John’s said it has removed sprouts from all restaurants “out of an abundance of caution.”
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The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Jimmy John’s last week that accused the restaurant chain of repeatedly selling vegetables linked to outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella.
“Jimmy John’s restaurants have been implicated in multiple outbreaks that have spanned the past seven years and impacted consumers in no fewer than 17 states,” FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas said in a news release Tuesday. “Jimmy John’s has not demonstrated implementation of long-term sustainable corrections to its supply chain to assure the safety of ingredients used in its products.”
The FDA letter summarized evidence linking Jimmy John’s to five illness outbreaks dating back to 2012. It accused Jimmy John’s of engaging in a pattern of selling “adulterated fresh produce, specifically clover sprouts and cucumbers.”
“Taken together, these outbreaks, which spanned over the past seven years and impacted no fewer than seventeen states demonstrate the corporate-wide supplier control mechanisms you have in place for receiving fresh produce are inadequate,” the letter said.
Jimmy John’s told Business Insider that it removed all sprouts from restaurants nationwide on Monday.
“Safety is our top priority,” Jimmy John’s president James North said in a statement. “We’ve removed sprouts from all Jimmy John’s restaurants until further notice. This removal was out of an abundance of caution and was not initiated by any known, immediate threat.”
The FDA letter demanded that Jimmy John’s respond within 15 working days with “the specific things you are doing to address this violation.”
“Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in enforcement action by FDA without further notice, including seizure and/or injunction,” the letter said.