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Clover sprouts eaten raw are likely source of E. coli illness outbreak

An outbreak of E. coli cases led state health officials to warn consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts from an Idaho producer.

The sprouts under investigation are linked to seven confirmed and three probable cases of E. coli O121 illnesses in Washington and Idaho. Five of those patients were hospitalized; there have been no deaths.

Five cases were reported in Spokane County, two in King County, and three in Kootenai County, Idaho. Results from initial investigations indicate a strong link to eating raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho.

Sprouts were eaten in sandwiches at several food establishments including Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches locations in King and Spokane counties, as well as two Pita Pit locations in Spokane County, and Daanen’s Deli as well as a Jimmy John’s location in Kootenai County. The restaurants where the cases reported eating raw clover sprouts have voluntarily suspended serving sprouts.

The producer also distributed sprouts around the northwest to other restaurants, as well as retail grocery stores where consumers may buy them for home consumption.

“We advise people not to eat raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts until further notice,” said Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “If you have these products at home, you should throw them out.”

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