Jimmy John's reopens after employees learn how to wash hands

Jimmy John's reopens after employees learn how to wash hands »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Action News is continuing to follow a popular sandwich shop closed by a local health department. They say Jimmy John's in Kennewick may have gotten multiple people sick. After shutting down for 40 hours, Jimmy John's reopened Saturday morning.

The Benton Franklin Health District shut down Jimmy John's Thursday afternoon. Now, after 40 hours, they've opened their doors. Still, customers like Kelly Rex are asking questions.

"How many people got sick here?" Kelly asked.

"A dozen, or ten," a restaurant staffer replied.

"That'd kind of freak you out, wouldn't it?" asked Kelly.

She feels like Jimmy John's deserves another chance.

"If they fix the problem, I'm willing to give it a second chance," said Kelly.

She did just that and was impressed.

"Today, it was definitely pretty clean," she said.

Although that cleanness came from the help of the health department.

KEPR spoke to representatives from the department, and they said early Saturday morning, they went over basic food handling with all of the employees before allowing Jimmy John's to reopen. That included how to wash your hands, how to put on gloves properly and other compliance checks.

The health department also made Jimmy John's throw out the food that was already prepped. Officials say they are still receiving reports of illnesses – all of which are came from before the restaurant was closed – making some loyal customers leery.

"I eat there at least sometimes two or three times a week depending on it," said Nicole Grove.

But she's not ready to go back just yet.

"Until they earn my trust back, until everybody says it's OK and nobody else is getting sick and stuff like that, so it could be a couple months, could be never," said Nicole.

The health district expects to have the samples back by Tuesday to determine exactly what the illnesses are.

The manager declined KEPR's request for an interview, but he said they are glad to be back open and offered us a free sandwich.

The health department tells Action News they will be checking in at Jimmy John's more frequently.