Jimmy John’s pulls salmonella sprouts from sandwiches; 88 sick in Illinois

Hours after announcing that suspect sprouts will stay on the Jimmy John’s sandwich menu because “sprouts rock,” the owner told franchises in Illinois to pull alfalfa sprouts from menus after a salmonella outbreak sickened dozens.

Jimmy John’s owner Jimmy John Liautaud wrote franchisees a letter Tuesday saying that about 88 people were sickened in 15 states and that of 40 interviewed, 28 ate at Jimmy John’s and 25 had sprouts. Liautaud said the chain’s restaurants and main sprout supplier have tested negative.

The Illinois Department of Public Health pegged the number of people confirmed sick from Salmonella I 4,5,12,i- at 43 back on Dec. 17, 2010.