"While the results of the investigation are not conclusive and we are still gathering more information, we have voluntarily directed all franchisees to remove sprouts as a precautionary measure from all supply and distribution", North said.
Ill people in this outbreak report eating raw sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John's restaurants in IL and Wisconsin.
Because of the warm and humid conditions that are both needed to grow sprouts and conducive to bacteria growth, they are a known source of foodborne illnesses. State and federal health officials are looking into salmonella cases linked to the sandwich chain.
Five of those involved with the outbreak say that ate at one of the sandwich shop franchise locations in Wisconsin in mid-to-late December, according to a statement released on Friday by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).
Three more people in neighboring Minnesota and IL have also contracted the infection of the same strain from eating sprouts at Jimmy John's restaurants.
The Illinois Dept of Public Health, the CDC and FDA are investigating reports of people becoming sick last December.
The company said Friday afternoon an investigation over the previous 24 hours indicated the sprouts were purchased from two growers in Minnesota.
IDPH is also reminding restaurants not to let food handlers work if they have diarrhea.
Symptoms may include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea, and dehydration. Illness usually develops within 6 to 72 hours after being exposed to Salmonella bacteria, but can be up to 10 days.
Jimmy John's today announced it has directed all locations chain-wide to temporarily stop serving sprouts as a precautionary measure while it investigates seven consumer complaints in IL and Wisconsin. In most cases, the illness resolves on its own. Anyone who experiences persistent or severe symptoms should contact a healthcare provider.