The CDC, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, and public health officials in several states investigated an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections.
A total of 19 people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing STEC O157:H7 were reported from seven states. The majority of illnesses were reported from the western United States. The number of ill people reported from each state was as follows: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Five ill people were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths were reported.
The epidemiologic evidence collected during this investigation suggested that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states was the likely source of this outbreak. Fourteen (88%) of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before illness started.
On November 20, 2015, Costco reported to public health officials that the company had voluntarily removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all stores in the United States.
On November 26, 2015, out of an abundance of caution, Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., voluntarily recalled the celery and onion diced blend used in the Costco chicken salad and many other products containing celery, because they might be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.