An onion-celery blend has been determined to be the cause of multiple cases of E.coli infection in the United States linked to a Costco-brand rotisserie chicken salad.
The diced onion-celery blend is a staple ingredient to the recipe, and according to tests ran by the Montana Public Health Laboratory, traces of “E. coli O157:H7” were discovered to be present in a sample of the blend.
The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control has stated that the chicken salad has been recalled. A news release issued on Friday also states that the agency responsible for the production of the onion-celery blend, Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. has “voluntarily recalled multiple products containing celery.”
Nineteen people in seven states, most of them in the West, became sick after consuming chicken salad bought at Costco stores. The affected states were Utah, Montana, California, Colorado, Missouri, Washington, and Virginia.
The CDC says that of the 19 patients, five have been hospitalized and two have developed kidney failure. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported as of yet.
On November 20, Costco confirmed that it had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from the shelves of their U.S. stores and production of the item is currently being put on hold. The chicken salad was labelled as “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” and the item number listed on its label is “37719.”
The CDC urges customers who have bought any chicken salad on or before November 20 to throw the product away, even if some of it has already been eaten without any noticeable side effects.
The investigation is ongoing as the CDC and health officials attempt to verify other identifiable cases of illness associated with the Costco-brand chicken salad.