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Costco rotisserie chicken salad linked to E.coli outbreak sickens 19 people

Published 25 November 2015

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that 19 people from seven states have been sickened due to the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 associated with the consumption of Costo rotisserie chicken salad.

chicken salad label

According to the latest CDC update, five people have been hospitalized and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a fatal kidney problem that is linked with E.coli infections. However, no deaths linked to the contamination have been reported so far.

Several public health agencies are investigating the cases using PulseNet system to identify the illnesses which may be the cause of outbreak. PulseNet is the national supplying network of public health and food regulatory laboratories. It is associated with CDC.
Through the use of PulseNet, the health agencies can get a national database of DNA fingerprints to discover possible outbreaks. One DNA fingerprint or outbreak strain has been included in the investigation.

The illness linked to the contamination began during the dates ranging from 6 October 2015 to 3 November 2015. Among the people taken ill, 57% are women.

Although the investigation conducted so far has linked the outbreak to the rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco retail chain, the ingredient in the chicken salad which could have been the cause of the contamination has not been identified yet.

Local and state public helath officials are questioning ill people to get more information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures during the week before their illness began. Of the people taken ill, 14 of 16 people consumed rotisserie chicken salad from Costco.

On 20 November 2015, Costco had notified public health officials about its recall of the remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all US stores and had announced that it has stalled further production of the product until further notice.


Image: Costco chicken salad sickens 19. Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.