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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Campus Jimmy John’s avoids salmonella outbreak

Photo by Jordan Johnson
The campus Jimmy John’s, located on Wells Street, avoided the recent Midwestern salmonella outbreak.

A string of salmonella outbreaks affected several Jimmy John’s in the midwest area — Marquette’s location was not included.

Five cases of salmonellosis, an illness caused by the bacteria salmonella, were identified, according to a news release published by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Two other cases were recorded in Illinois and one in Minnesota. Sprouts were likely the cause.

All of the victims were women ranging in age from 26 to 50. Seven of the eight victims of salmonellosis reported eating sprouts at Jimmy John’s locations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The onset of illness for all victims occurred between Dec. 20, 2017, and Jan. 3, 2018. No one was hospitalized, and no deaths occurred due to the outbreak. All Jimmy John’s locations in the United States have stopped serving sprouts as a safeguard to protect against further cases of salmonellosis.

Raw sprouts are a common culprit in salmonella outbreaks, according to the CDC.

“Regardless of where they are served, raw and lightly cooked sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness and outbreaks,” the CDC report said. “People who choose to eat sprouts should cook them thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness.”

Jay Lindsay, general manager of the Marquette campus Jimmy John’s, said the outbreak surprised him. However, he said he’s no stranger to sprouts being marked as a known cause of illness.

“We get our produce fresh every day,” Lindsay said. “But we have a disclaimer up there (on the menu) that says to eat sprouts at your own risk. They’re a high risk.”

Robin Brown, associate director of student wellness at the Marquette University Medical Clinic, said the university has not handled any recent cases of salmonellosis. Despite this, she said students should engage in preventative behaviors to avoid the illness.

Thoroughly washing produce, avoiding cross-contamination of uncooked meats with ready-to-eat foods and produce, washing hands, not eating raw or undercooked eggs or meat and not eating raw or unpasteurized dairy products are effective ways to avoid salmonellosis, Brown said.

Brown also said some ingredients that may cause salmonellosis, such as raw eggs, could fly under the radar as they may be an unknown ingredient.

“Raw eggs may be unrecognized in some foods, such as homemade Hollandaise sauce, Caesar and other homemade salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough and frostings,” Brown said in an email.

Lindsay said he believes he trains his employees well enough to follow Wisconsin’s food safety laws.

The store’s last health score was 98 percent, Lindsay said. However, records from the City of Milwaukee Health Department show that this particular Jimmy John’s was inspected June 7, 2017, and some health violations required two re-inspections July 7 and July 28. The first health inspection reported that some meats and cheese were being kept at temperatures higher than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Thermometers were also found missing from food storage areas.

In order to keep prepared foods from developing bacteria, they should be kept in coolers at or below 41 degrees.

These violations were corrected after the second re-inspection.

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