November 24, 2015 — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning that 19 people in seven states have been infected with E. coli after eating Costco rotisserie chicken salad.
Case Count by State: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), Washington (1).
The outbreak strain has been identified as Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157:H7, which can cause severe bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.
Five of the victims have been hospitalized. Two have developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening type of kidney failure that occurs when toxins in the intestine begin to destroy red blood cells. HUS occurs in about 5% of E. coli O157:H7 infections.
Evidence suggests that rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco Wholesale stores is the “likely source” of the outbreak because 88% of victims (14 out of 16 who were interviewed) bought or ate the product in the week before the illness started.
On November 20, Costco said it had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all stores in the United States and stopped further production of the product until further notice. Any consumers who bought the product on or before November 20 should not eat it and throw it away. Any illnesses that occurred after November 20 might not be reported yet.
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