Earlier this week we reported that 19 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 from 7 states, primarily in the western US. The outbreak, which is expected to grow, was linked to Costco rotisserie chicken salad.
The investigation into the outbreak has narrowed the source to Taylor Farms Celery and Onion Diced Blend after Montana health officials reported E. coli 0157:H7 in a sample of the product tested.
The NY Times reports that Costco VP of food safety and QA, Craig Wilson said the strain appears connected. He noted that Taylor Farms is the only supplier of the vegetables used in the chicken salad.
This has prompted Taylor Farms to recall a large number of products that contain potentially tainted celery.
The FDA advises Consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store in the U.S. on or before November 20, 2015, should not eat it and should throw it away.
Even if some of the rotisserie chicken salad has been eaten and no one has gotten sick, throw the rest of the product away.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and theEditor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch
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