Costco chicken salad has caused E. coli infections in 4 states, forcing the membership-only warehouse club chain to recall this product across stores in western U.S.
People who have probably contracted the E.coli bacteria after consuming Costco chicken salad have been identified so far in Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Montana.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced on Monday, November 23, that 4 such cases had been confirmed so far: two in Jefferson County, one in Routt County, and another one in Arapahoe.
One of the patients required hospitalization, but eventually everyone made a full recovery, after receiving medical treatment.
While these infections actually took place between October 28 and November 3, now their source may have been finally discovered.
Apparently, all of the individuals had consumed chicken salad bought from Costco on October 25 and October 26, and had fallen ill shortly afterwards.
A similar discovery was also made by the Washington State Department of Health as well, which recently announced that at least one of its E.coli patients had consumed Costco chicken salad. Such connections were also signaled across Montana and Utah.
Currently, an investigation meant to establish with certainty that this food item was responsible for the outbreak is being conducted by Costco, in conjunction with experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
Until official results are released, the wholesale corporation has decided to take extra precautions by issuing a voluntary recall involving products labeled as “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken”. The contaminated meals can be identified through their item number, which is 37719.
The prepackaged salads have been removed from stores, and those who have already purchased them are urged to abstain from consuming them, because they might be perilous to health.
E. coli intestinal infection usually appears 2 to 8 days after ingesting contaminated food or water, and manifests itself through symptoms such as abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue, nausea and severe diarrhea.
Although patients normally make a full recovery in around a week, the disease can be particularly hazardous for pregnant women, elderly persons, young children, and people with compromised immune systems.
If someone has already eaten items that are subject to this new recall and is experiencing any of the above-mentioned manifestations, they should immediately contact their physician.
Those who have bought the items and haven’t opened them yet are advised to discard them immediately or return them back to Costco stores, for a full refund.
This new outbreak comes after 43 Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants have been closed in Washington and Oregon, due to a similar E.coli contamination, which affected 45 people in 6 states.
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