More than 45,000 Starbucks holiday turkey sandwiches have been recalled because they main contain Taylor Farms celery that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. This recall is part of a huge recall affecting more than 155,000 items sold at restaurants and grocery stores across the country.
The recalled product is SBUX Holiday Turkey & Stuffing Warm, in 7.7 ounce packaging. The number is 11045014. The sandwiches have sell by dates of 11/20/15 to 11/28/15 and were sold in California, Oregon, and Nevada.
The sell by date has passed, but it’s possible that some consumers may still have these sandwiches at home in their refrigerators or freezers. If you do, throw it out and wash your hands carefully after handling the product.
This recall stems from a multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was originally linked to Costco Rotisserie chicken salads. Nineteen people have been sickened in that outbreak so far, which is expected to grow since the recall numbers are so large. The Montana Health Department tested the celery and onion mix that was used to make those Costco salads nationwide and found it was contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria.
A recall was then issued on November 26, 2015 for more than 71 Taylor Farms celery products and for foods made with Taylor Farms celery. Some of the items were sold directly to food service, such as in grocery store delis and restaurants, and some were sold directly to consumers through grocery stores and restaurants. Because the list is so long and extensive, we are detailing specific recalls that affect consumers.
Produce items, especially those that are eaten uncooked such as celery and bean sprouts, are often the source of food poisoning outbreaks in the United States and around the world. These items can be contaminated in the field, during processing and transport, and when they are being packaged. But most people don’t think of these items as being particularly risky from a food safety standpoint.
An E. coli O157:H7 infection can be very serious. Five of the patients in this outbreak so far have been hospitalized, and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication that can cause kidney failure and death.
The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is watery and/or bloody. Other symptoms may include a mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin three to seven days after exposure to the bacteria. If this infection is treated with antibiotics, or if the patient is age 5 or younger, it can progress to HUS, which damages the kidneys.
The symptoms of HUS include pale skin, lethargy, little or no urine output, easy bruising, a skin rash, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should be taken to a doctor immediately.