Nearly 20 cases of E.coli in four Western states have been traced back to the bulk retailers’ “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken.”
No deaths, few complications but troubles for Costco
While a few news sources have suggested cases in up to seven states, we are simply going with four: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Washington.
Health investigators said that the people who bought the chicken salad purchased it in late October or early November in the aforementioned Western states.
Five cases were reported in Utah with two people requiring hospitalization. The cases in Utah were reported from Oct. 17 to Oct. 30.
“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. Out of an abundance of caution, Costco removed the chicken salad from their Utah stores on Friday, November 20th. However, people who bought chicken salad may still have the product in their refrigerators,” the Utah Department of Health said in a news release.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, all four people who contracted the illness have subsequently recovered.
Washington seems to have just had one case which did not require hospitalization.
“We take E. coli very seriously in Washington,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said in a statement. “We are working with the CDC and state partners to determine the source.”
CDC comments on the matter
While all agencies take E.coli quite seriously the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have formidable resources and ultimately get the finally say in its containment.
The agency reported that while only five people were hospitalized, two did develop a “mild” type of kidney failure.
While the agency knows that most bought or ate the rotisserie chicken salad from Costco, the single ingredient in the salad that caused the outbreak has not yet been identified according to the CDC.
Costco’s shares closed down about 1% at $162.19 following a high volume day of training.
And of course, the CDC stated that anyone who purchased the chicken salad (item #37719) should throw it away or return it to the store immediately while stressing that it should not be fed to pets either.