CDC Food Safety Alert: CDC investigating outbreak of E. coli O103 infections linked to clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC food safety alert regarding a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections has been posted:

Key points:

  • CDC is concerned that people who recently ate clover sprouts from a Jimmy John’s restaurant could develop a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection.
  • CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections that have sickened 14 people in five states (Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, and Utah). Clover sprouts from Jimmy John’s are a likely source of the outbreak.
  • Jimmy John’s reported that all of its restaurants stopped serving clover sprouts on February 24, 2020. Investigators are working to determine whether other restaurants or retailers received the same clover sprouts that are linked to illness.
  • This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.

Advice to consumers:

  • If you have leftovers with clover sprouts from Jimmy John’s, don’t eat them. Throw the leftovers away.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection. Symptoms often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, and usually last 5-7 days.
  • Report your illness to your local health department. Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before and after preparing food to lower the chance of infecting others.

About E. coli infection:

  • People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after swallowing the germ.
  • Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • More information can be found here:

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


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