In a follow-up to a report yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made their initial announcement on the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) linked to Costco rotisserie chicken salad.
As of November 23, 2015, 19 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from 7 states, with most cases reported in western states.
The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Five people have required hospitalization due to their illness.
No deaths have been reported.
On November 20, 2015, Costco reported to public health officials that the company had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all stores in the U.S. and stopped further production of the product until further notice. Although the chicken salad has not tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, there is a strong association between reported illness and eating the salad.
Consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store in the United States on or before November 20, 2015, should not eat it and should throw it away.
According to Dana Fejes of the Montana DPHHS Communicable Disease Epidemiology Section, Costco has been very helpful with their investigation.
People who become ill from E. coli 0157:H7 usually get sick within two to eight days after ingesting the bacteria. Symptoms from illness may include diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week, but sometimes the illness develops into a more severe form that will likely require hospitalization.