Jimmy John's is being forced to cut sprouts from the menu after a food poisoning outbreak -- here's why an expert never eats the vegetable

Jimmy John's is being asked to cut sprouts from the menu after a food poisoning outbreak. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health has asked the sandwich chain to stop serving alfalfa sprouts in the state until an investigation of a recent salmonella food poisoning outbreak is complete. So far, two people have reported becoming ill after eating at Jimmy John's in late December. 

19 PHOTOS
World's healthiest vegetables
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World's healthiest vegetables

18. Romaine lettuce

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17. Artichokes

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16. Cauliflower

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15. Green pepper

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14. Tomato

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13. Corn on the cob

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12. Okra

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11. Carrot

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10. Green peas

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9. Cabbage (raw)

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8. Brussel sprouts

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7. Winter squash (baked)

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6. Broccoli

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5. Mixed vegetables

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4. Kale

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3. Spinach

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2. Potato, baked

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1. Sweet potato

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While many types of fresh produce carry risks of spreading bacteria if they aren't properly cleaned, sprouts are particularly risky because they need warm and humid conditions to grow — just like bacteria. According to a government food safety website, there have been at least 30 food poisoning outbreaks linked to sprouts since 1996.

According to Bill Marler, a food poisoning attorney with two decades of experience, sprouts are one of the top items he has banned from his diet. 

"There have been too many outbreaks to not pay attention to the risk of sprout contamination," Marler says. "Those are products that I just don't eat at all." 

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Best and worst vegetables for you
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Best and worst vegetables for you

Avoid: Potatoes 

Studies show that potatoes are "pure sugar" once they enter your system. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, potatoes are responsible for a surge in blood sugar and insulin --- it has the same effect as a can of Cola or candy. 

Eat sparingly: Squash

Like potatoes, squash is a starch vegetable. 1 cup of butternut squash has 11 grams of carbohydrate and more than 40 calories, but is considered a healthier choice than potatoes. Nutritionists advise patients to be careful when eating squash as it can quickly put you "over your carb limit too quickly". 

Eat Sparingly: Eggplant 

Eggplant should be avoided by patients with digestive issues. Says the author of "Eat Dirt", "They contain alkaloids, which protects them from bugs and molds [when they’re growing in the field]. Unfortunately, these chemicals can trigger digestive issues.” Additionally, they possess high carbohydrate levels. 

Some studies have linked eggplant to inflammation and arthritis. Furthermore, researchers advise patients who are prone to kidney stones to avoid the vegetable.

Eat sparingly: Beets

Beets are known for reducing dementia risk and increasing endurance for athletes. But beets have also been linked to kidney stones and gout because they are high in oxalate. This includes patients with gallbladder problems.

Eat sparingly: Bell peppers

Like eggplants and potatoes, peppers are part of the Nightshade family. Bell peppers are believed to cause a buildup of inflammation in the body. 

Eat more: Tomatoes

Whether you consider it a fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are a great source of nutrients and vitamins. It's an "outstanding" source of Lycopene and antioxidants.

A study found that tomatoes were beneficiary in helping patients suffering from Osteoporosis and is an important food for bone health. 

Eat more: Carrots 

Carrots are known for decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. Even better, cooked carrots may provide increased benefits than raw carrots. 

A 10-year study out of the Netherlands revealed that fruits and vegetables with deeper shades of orange and yellow are "most protective" against cardiovascular disease. 

Eat more: Bok Choy

There's a reason ancient Chinese loved this bitter vegetable. It's so good for you! Bok Choy is low in calories but high in nutrients like calcium fiber and zinc. According to WebMD, one cup of bok choy (cooked) equates to more than 100% of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A. 

Eat more: Kale

It's still the latest superfoods Kale is low in calories and high in fiber, as well as numerous antioxidants. The vegetable is also known for being heart-healthy and lowering cholesterol. A 12-week study that tested the impact of kale juice on men with high cholesterol found favorable results and lowered their risk of "developing coronary disease". 

Eat more: Asparagus

Sure, it's known to make your pee smell and your kids definitely put up a fight, but asparagus is well known for its amazing health benefits. It's packed with vitamins and minerals, low in calorie and fat. Patients looking to lose weight will find asparagus is one of the most beneficial vegetables. 

It's also been scientifically proven that asparagus cures hangovers. "These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells," said a researcher at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea.

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