Glass Onion Catering products sold at Trader Joe’s (and elsewhere) recalled after link to E. coli O157 Illnesses

According to USDA FSIS, 26 people in three states suffering from E. coli O157 have  been linked together as a cluster of related illnesses. Investigators have identified pre-packaged salads containing grilled chicken produced by Glass Onion Catering as the likely source. Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 2.51.01 PM

According to a USDA FSIS press release, Glass Onion Catering is recalling 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products associated with outbreak. From the press release:

FSIS began monitoring a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on Oct. 29, 2013 then was notified by FDA on Nov. 6, 2013 that California authorities had reported case-patients consuming pre-packaged salads with grilled chicken. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FDA, the California Department of Public Health, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services, FSIS has determined that there is a link between the grilled chicken salads and the illness cluster. Twenty-six case-patients have been identified in three states with indistinguishable E. coli O157:H7 PFGE (genetic fingerprint) patterns with illness onset dates ranging from Sept 29, 2013 to Oct. 26, 2013. Based on epidemiological information, 15 case-patients reported consumption of ready-to-eat pre-packaged salads prior to illness onset. A traceback investigation determined Glass Onion Catering was the supplier of the products implicated in the outbreak.   

While uncommon to find E. coli O157:H7 in a poultry product, FSIS will continue its investigation in conjunction with the FDA to identify the source of the contamination. FSIS continues to work with the CDC, FDA and state public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

A list and pictures of the affected product labels, including many branded as Trader Joe’s private label is found here.

According to their website, Glass Onion Catering and Gourmet Foods, “is a rising force in the prepackaged, grab and go gourmet food industry. A trusted source for several top retail brands, Glass Onion was envisioned and created by Tom, a Northern California native.”

Nothing related to what they do to address food safety is listed on the site. Listing their systems would make them a more trusted source for me.

This entry was posted in E. coli, Food Safety Culture and tagged , , by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.