CHICAGO (WBBM) — The Jimmy John’s sandwich chain says its alfalfa sprouts will stay, even though the state says they may be linked to a food poisoning outbreak.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Jimmy John’s says alfalfa sprouts “rock,” and since there has been no official warning from the State of Illinois to remove sprouts from the Jimmy John’s menu, the sprouts will remain.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya Reports

The Illinois Department of Public Health says since Nov. 1, nearly four dozen people have come down with salmonella food poisoning after eating sprouts at at least nine Jimmy John’s locations around the state. They include locations in Cook, Will, McHenry, Kankakee and Winnebago counties, and some downstate counties.

The department has received reports of 46 Illinois residents becoming ill with the type of salmonella.

The state continues its investigation into the source of the salmonella. Alfalfa sprout producers and suppliers are being investigated and produce testing is also being conducted.

If you have eaten sprouts and experience diarrhea and the fever, the health department advises you to contact your doctor or health department.

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

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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