A total of 19 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 7 states. The majority of illnesses have been reported from states in the western United States. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).
Among people for whom information was available, illnesses started on dates ranging from October 6, 2015 to November 3, 2015. Ill people ranged in age from 5 years to 84, with a median age of 18. Fifty-seven percent of ill people were female. Five (29%) people were hospitalized, and two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
The epidemiologic evidence available to investigators at this time suggests that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco stores is a likely source of this outbreak. The ongoing investigation has not identified what specific ingredient in the chicken salad is linked to illness.
Costco and Taylor Farms Pacific announced that they were recalling celery and onion mix because they may include celery, which could potentially contain E. coli O157:H7. The products were recalled due to a celery and onion diced blend testing positive for E. coli O157:H7 in a sample taken by the Montana Department of Health. The celery and onion diced blend tested by the state of Montana was used in a Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad.
On November 20, 2015, Costco reported to public health officials that the company had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all stores in the United States and stopped further production of the product until further notice.
If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.