If you recently bought Costco chicken salad, watch out. A strain of E. Coli has been linked to the food, according to Newsday. The chicken salad has sickened 19 people in seven states; anyone who bought chicken salad at any U.S. Costco store on or before Friday, November 20th has been advised to throw it away.
The particular strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can be life-threatening, although thankfully, no deaths have been reported. However, five people have been hospitalized and two have developed a type of kidney failure, so the affects can still be serious. The strain has been identified as E. Coli 157, which is especially harmful in young children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health official are investigating the cause, but have not determined what ingredient in the rotisserie chicken salad could be the source of the outbreak.
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So far, there have been six people who have fallen ill in Montana, five in Utah, four in Colorado, and one each in California, Missouri, Virginia and Washington state. According to the CDC, the illnesses began on October 6th and involved people ages 5-84.
Symptoms of E. Coli include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. The incubation period is three to seven days from the time of exposure, which can be spread in indirect ways on produce.
While there is no reason to panic, it’s better to be safe and throw any food away that may be contaminated. We hope you have a safe, loving, and plentiful Thanksgiving.