An E. coli outbreak linked to contaminated celery produced by Taylor Farms and used as an ingredient in Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad has triggered the recall of dozens of products sold at grocery stores nationwide. On November 26, Taylor Farms issued a recall for the celery which included 71 products sold at 14 retailers nationwide. But other retailers have also recalled products containing celery. Consumers who have purchased celery should check recall information carefully as E. coli can cause serious illness.
Retailers recalling celery products include 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Costco, Food Lion, King Soopers, Kroger, Pantry, Raleys, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Savemart, Starbucks, Target, Tony’s, Walmart and Vons.
The recalled products include deli salads, salad kits, soup starters, vegetable trays, sandwiches and wraps. (To see the full Taylor Farms list, click the link on “recall” above.)
Products recalled from Kroger stores in Central and Northwest Ohio, the Northwestern Virginia panhandle and Michigan include 8-ounce chopped celery, a vegetable platter with dip and a a soup starter kit.
Products recalled from Food Lion include: Food Lion Large Vegetable Tray with Dip UPC:035826 09869; Food Lion Small Vegetable Tray with Dip UPC:035826 09870; Food Lion Carrot/Celery Sticks (fresh cut carrots and celery in water) UPC:035826 09867; Stuffing Mix (pre-cut fresh celery and onion for stuffing mix) UPC:840219 14560 and Food Lion Stew Mix (pre-cut fresh vegetables, including celery, for stew mix) UPC035826 10174. The products, which were sold at 500 stores in eight states with “sell by” dates of Dec 3 through Dec 6., have been removed from stores.
Consumers who have purchased any of the recalled products should not eat them as they risk serious illness if they do. E. coli O157:H7 produces Shiga toxins that cause illness.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea. Sometimes there is also vomiting and a fever of less than 101˚F. Symptoms usually develop one to three days after exposure and last about a week. Those at highest risk include children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems.
About 10 percent of people with E. coli infections develop a life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a form of kidney failure. Two of the 19 people sickened in this outbreak have been diagnosed with HUS. Symptoms, which usually set in on the eighth day of E.coli symptoms, include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, loss of color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Anyone who has these symptoms should seek immediate medical care. In addition to kidney failure, HUS can cause seizure, stroke, coma and death.
Fifty-seven percent of the case patients in this outbreak, who range in age from 5 years to 84, are female. By state, the case count is as follows: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).