Costco takes chicken salad off Washington shelves due to E. coli

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Department of Health

"Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken" from Costco has been connected with at least one case of E. coli O157:H7 in Washington. Consumers who purchased this product – item number 37719 – from any Washington Costco location should discard it.

The Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other western states, are investigating E. coli illnesses from chicken salad purchased from various Costco stores in late October. Washington has confirmed one case of E. coli O157:H7 from King County, who became ill in late October. This confirmed case was not hospitalized.

"We take E. coli very seriously in Washington," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist, "and we are working with CDC and state partners to determine the source."

Others states with confirmed E. coli cased linked to Costco chicken salad include Colorado, Montana, and Utah. In addition to CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture are working with Costco to determine the source of the contamination.

People who have eaten this product and feel ill should consult with their health care provider. If you have leftover product in your refrigerator or freezer do not eat it and discard the product. People usually get sick 2-8 days after getting E. coli. Only people who have symptoms should see a health care provider.

Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea – often bloody – and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

HUS can occur in people of any age, but is most common in young children under five, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination. People who have these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Antibiotics and antidiarrheal medicines should not be given unless E. coli is ruled out, since they may increase the risk of HUS in people with E. coli infections.

Visit our E. coli webpage for more information.

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