The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) yesterday jointly issued a consumer advisory for potato salads made in and sold by Big G Food Store in Marengo, Iowa.  Big G’s “Zesty Potato Salad” and “Traditional Potato Salad” have been implicated in 20 cases of salmonella illness reported in Iowa County.

Iowa Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

Big G Food Store has voluntarily pulled the potato salads from its shelves, and is working with the state departments in the investigation of the reported illnesses.  The suspect salads were prepared in the store during the month of July.  Neither potato salad has been sold to the consuming public since last Friday evening, DIA Food & Consumer Safety Bureau Chief Steven Mandernach said.

IDPH is investigating several cases of possible illness associated with the potato salad. “The bottom line is that no one should eat this product,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away.”

Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that can cause illness and rarely, it can be severe.  Usually, people who get salmonella infection develop symptoms within 12 to 36 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but symptoms can appear as early as six hours and as late as three days after ingestion.

Symptoms of salmonella infection generally last four to seven days and include: Diarrhea, headache, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, dehydration, vomiting, muscle pains and bloody stools.

Most people get better without treatment, but in some cases, the diarrhea associated with a salmonella infection can cause dehydration, which can sometimes result in hospitalization. It is important whenever you have diarrhea to make sure you drink plenty of fluids. If you are ill, you should contact your health care provider.

Consumers who have purchased the Zesty or Traditional potato salad should throw it out and not return the product to the store.  Iowans with concerns or questions about the implicated products should contact DIA’s Food & Consumer Safety Bureau at 515-281-6538 or Big G Food Store at 319-642-5551.