The Colorado Department of Public Health andEnvironment (CDPHE) is investigating an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to chicken salad purchased at Costco stores in that state in late October. At least four people have been sickened with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Colorado. Other states with confirmed E. coli cases linked to Costco chicken salad are Utah, Montana, and Washington.
The case count by county is: Arapahoe (1), Jefferson County (2), and Routt (1). One person has been hospitalized, and all persons In Colorado have recovered. People purchased the salad from Costco stores on October 25 and 26, 2015, and became ill between October 28 and November 3, 2015.
The FDA, USDA-FSIS, and CDC are working with Costco to determine the source of contamination. The product is also being recalled from Costco stores in the states experiencing this outbreak.
The product in question is “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” with item number 37719. It was purchased from Costco in Colorado, according to the Colorado news bulletin, and was most likely sold in the other states in the outbreak case count as well. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard it in a sealed container so other people and animals can’t eat it, or return it or the receipt to the place of purchase for a refund.
Alicia Cronquist, epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a statement, “we are working with Costco. FDA reported to us the product has been removed from the shelves and not longer is for sale in Colorado.”
The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe abdominal cramps, watery and/or bloody diarrhea, mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear six hours to three days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. If you ate that recalled chicken salad and have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor.
One of the complications of an E. coli infection is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This serious illness can destroy the kidneys and cause seizures and death. the symptoms of HUS include pale skin, lethargy, bleeding from the nose and mouth, little or no urine output, unexplained bruises, and a skin rash. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should see a doctor immediately.