Jimmy John's shuts down after multiple people get sick

Jimmy John's shuts down after multiple people get sick »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A popular sandwich shop is closed while workers scrub the building. The Benton Franklin Health District says Jimmy John's could be the culprit in multiple people getting sick.

Chris Davis waited in the drive-thru for five minutes. Little did he know nobody was listening or even there to take his order. We had to tell him Jimmy John's was closed.

"I had no idea that no one was going to be here and that they were closed," said Davis.

The restaurant on Clearwater Avenue shut down Thursday afternoon after a request from the Benton Franklin Health District. A half-dozen people reported suffering from gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea. But since KEPR posted the story on Facebook, 30 more people called the health district to report an illness.

The health district hasn't found a common ingredient from Jimmy John's that may have caused the problem.

On Friday morning, we could see workers inside the building cleaning it from top to bottom. They also turned away customers. But after that, the sandwich shop went dark.

We tried knocking, and we tried calling earlier. There's no sign on the door, and there's no sign from employees of when they will be back open. Customers have been coming up here all day just looking for a sandwich.

Kids shook the doors; customers peeped through the window. Even a city council member came by.

"I like to come here and eat lunch; it's pretty quick and usually pretty reliable, but apparently there's an issue that they're closed today," said Bob Parks of the Kennewick City Council.

Others even came by Jimmy John's looking for a job.

"I was told that they needed people and came down here, assuming they'd be open, and nothing happened," said Jason Bradder.

To get all sides, KEPR called the corporate office. They told us they were aware of the problem and had no comment.

Benton Franklin Health District said they are testing for E. coli and other bacteria that could cause gastrointestinal illnesses. They're not sure when the Kennewick Jimmy's John's will be back open.

A recall of clover sprouts distributed in the Northwest was issued last week. Jimmy John's stopped serving sprouts on Sunday. Most of these illnesses were reported midweek, so the health district doesn't expect sprouts to be a source of contamination.