Jimmy John’s restaurants in nine Illinois counties are being investigated by the state health department after salmonella poisoning was reported by customers.  State officials are working with local health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the issue. Other counties on the list are Adams, Champaign, Cook, Kankakee, McHenry, McLean, Peoria and Will.

The state has received reports of 46 Illinois residents becoming ill with Salmonella Serotype I 4,5,12, i- since Nov. 1. State officials are investigating alfalfa sprout producers and suppliers. Produce testing for salmonella is ongoing.

If you have eaten alfalfa sprouts and become ill with diarrhea and fever, call your physician and your local health department.

Symptoms of salmonellosis, the illness caused by the salmonella bacteria, include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or stomach cramps. Illness usually develops within six to 72 hours after being exposed to salmonella bacteria and generally lasts three to seven days.

The fatality rate for salmonellosis is less than 1 percent, according to the state health department.

Some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all but may still pass the salmonella bacteria to others. The spread of salmonella from person to person may be avoided by careful hand washing with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom.