Fareway chicken salad now linked to 170 illnesses

As the foodborne epidemiologists used to say, ‘it’s always the potato salad’; usually referring to staph toxin outbreaks – where dishes sit out at room temperature either in the preparer’s home, during the transport, or before everyone lines up to eat.

Except, it’s not always the potato salad. Sometimes it’s the chicken salad.

CDC updated it’s page on their investigation into a salmonellosis outbreak linked to chicken salad sold at Faraway grocery stores.

Another 105 ill people from 6 states were added to this investigation since the last update on February 22, 2018. The newly reported ill people likely bought contaminated chicken salad before it was recalled. Public health agencies receive reports on Salmonella illnesses two to four weeks after illness starts.

On February 21, 2018, Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. recalled all chicken salad produced from January 2, 2018 to February 7, 2018.

The recalled chicken salad was sold in containers of various weights from the deli at Fareway grocery stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota from January 4, 2018, to February 9, 2018.

‘Multiple illnesses’ Salmonella cases in Iowa linked to Fareway chicken salad

The Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPH) and Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals issued a consumer advisory Tuesday for chicken salad sold at Fareway stores.

The chicken salad, which is produced and packaged by a third party for Fareway, is implicated in multiple cases of salmonella illness across Iowa. Preliminary test results from the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) at the University of Iowa indicate the presence of salmonella in this product.

Fareway voluntarily stopped the sale of the product and pulled the chicken salad from its shelves after being contacted by DIA. “The company has been very cooperative and is working with IDPH and DIA in the investigation of the reported illnesses,” said DIA Food and Consumer Safety Bureau Chief Steven Mandernach, who noted that no chicken salad has been sold to the consuming public since last Friday evening (2/9/18).

IDPH is investigating multiple cases of possible illness associated with the chicken salad. “The bottom line is that no one should eat this product,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away.”

19 sickened with E. coli O157 from chicken salad: Source not IDed but fast recall by Costco may have limited outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 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.

chicken_salad_sandPublic health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. PulseNet, the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories, is coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on E. coli bacteria isolated from ill people by using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks.

One DNA fingerprint (outbreak strain) was included in this investigation. 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).

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. No deaths were reported.


The epidemiologic evidence collected during this investigation suggested that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco stores was the likely source of this outbreak.

State and local public health officials interviewed ill people to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before their illness started. Fourteen (88%) of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco.

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. This voluntary action taken by Costco may have prevented additional illnesses. Costco also worked in collaboration with public health officials during the investigation by providing records and information related to ingredient suppliers to try to determine the source of the outbreak.

The Montana Public Health Laboratory tested a sample of celery and onion diced blend produced by Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. and collected from a Costco store in Montana. Preliminary results indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. This product was used to make the Costco rotisserie chicken salad eaten by ill people in this outbreak. According to the FDA, further laboratory analysis was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in the sample of celery and onion diced blend.

As a result of the preliminary laboratory results and out of an abundance of caution, on November 26, 2015, Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. voluntarily recalled the celery and onion diced blend and many other products containing celery because they might be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The FDA conducted a traceback investigation of the FDA regulated ingredients used in the chicken salad to try to determine which ingredient was linked to illness. However, the traceback investigation did not identify a common source of contamination.

This outbreak appears to be over.

Taylor Farms produce mixture fingered in Costco chicken salad/E. coli O157 outbreak

A retailer or food service operator is only as good as the ingredients they use. Even with the best internal food safety programs, a good food safety culture includes supplier standards and verifications. Audits and inspections are never enough.

According to the Associated Press, Costco believes that contamination of their rotisserie chicken salad is linked to produce.costco.chicken.salad_.nov_.15

Costco officials say testing has pointed toward a vegetable mix from a California food wholesaler as the source of E. coli in the company’s chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states.

Craig Wilson, Costco vice president of food safety and quality assurance, said Wednesday he was told by the Food and Drug Administration that the strain of E. coli seems to be connected to an onion and celery mix.

Wilson says the company uses one supplier for those vegetables in the chicken salad sold in all its U.S. stores.

He says one additional test is needed to confirm that the vegetables carried the same E. coli strain connected with the outbreak.

Wilson identified the supplier as Taylor Farms in Salinas, California.

19 sick in 7 states from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to Costco rotisserie chicken salad

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, and public health officials in several states are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections.

costco.chicken.salad.nov.15As of November 23, 2015, 19 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from 7 states.

The majority of illnesses have been reported from states in the western United States.

5 ill people have been hospitalized, and 2 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states is a likely source of this outbreak.

14 (88%) of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before illness started.

The ongoing investigation has not identified what specific ingredient in the chicken salad is linked to illness.

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 U.S. and stopped further production of the product until further notice.

Consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store in the United States on or before November 20, 2015, should not eat it and should throw it away.

Even if some of the rotisserie chicken salad has been eaten and no one has gotten sick, throw the rest of the product away.

This product has a typical shelf life of 3 days and is labeled “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” with item number 37719 on the label.

350 sick from Salmonella in chicken salad at Arizona prison

Prison food is no picnic, what with the horse nuts (canned plums), dog food, Salmonella in eggs, and the rumored saltpeter.

The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed the presence of Salmonella in chicken salad served at the Arkansas Department of Correction’s Tucker Unit on Aug. 4 that sickened hundreds of inmates with nausea and diarrhea.

Correction department spokeswoman Shea Wilson says footage from security cameras shows the chicken was cooked for three hours. But Wilson tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the chicken may have been left out for too long after it was cooked.

I didn’t know surveillance cameras could measure temperature. The chicken salad was prepared by inmates.

3 dead, 51 sick; Clostridium perfringens illness at a state psychiatric hospital — Louisiana, 2010

On May 7, 2010, 42 residents and 12 staff members at a Louisiana state psychiatric hospital experienced vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Within 24 hours, three patients had died. The three fatalities occurred among patients aged 41–61 years who were receiving medications that had anti–intestinal motility side effects. For two of three decedents, the cause of death found on postmortem examination was necrotizing colitis. Investigation by the Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) and CDC found that eating chicken served at dinner on May 6 was associated with illness. The chicken was cooked approximately 24 hours before serving and not cooled in accordance with hospital guidelines. C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) was detected in 20 of 23 stool specimens from ill residents and staff members. Genetic testing of C. perfringens toxins isolated from chicken and stool specimens was carried out to determine which of the two strains responsible for C. perfringens foodborne illness was present. The specimens tested negative for the beta-toxin gene, excluding C. perfringens type C as the etiologic agent and implicating C. perfringens type A. This outbreak underscores the need for strict food preparation guidelines at psychiatric inpatient facilities and the potential risk for adverse outcomes among any patients with impaired intestinal motility caused by medications, disease, and extremes of age when exposed to C. perfringens enterotoxin.

Clostridium perfringens, the third most common cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., most often causes a self-limited, diarrheal disease lasting 12–24 hours. Fatalities are very rare, occurring in <0.03% of cases. Death usually is caused by dehydration and occurs among the very young, the very old, and persons debilitated by illness.

The full report is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6132a1.htm?s_cid=mm6132a1_x.

Memorial Day means mayo wars in US; raw egg risks

This is the chicken salad sandwich Amy will have for lunch later today.

I’ve done what I can to make sure she doesn’t barf (at least from this sandwich). And that means using commercial mayonnaise.

In a manner food pornographers usually reserve for wine and raw milk cheese, the New York Times devotes 1,661 words to mayonnaise today, and not once mentions the risk of using raw eggs.

Maybe in response, the Association for Dressings & Sauces – those folks know how to party – stated today that more than 60 years of research has proven that commercially prepared mayonnaise does not cause foodborne illness.

Commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type dressings contain pasteurized eggs while additional ingredients such as vinegar and lemon juice create a high-acid environment that slows bacterial growth.

For me and my family, it’s not worth the risk. Despite the proclamations of foodies, raw egg mayo is not the key ingredient in a chicken salad sandwich; it’s the lime, which are plentiful and awesome in Australia.

For the sandwich, right, I used leftover chicken breast from the roasted whole bird that was part of dinner last night (covered in lime, rosemary, basil, sage and garlic, the remnants which are now rendering in the stock pot). I added small amounts of pink onion, celery, red pepper, dill pickle, Dijon mustard, and commercial mayonnaise, mixed and slathered between two slices of homemade bread from yesterday (30% rye, 50% whole wheat, 20% white flours) and topped with Mesclun mix and tomato slices.

My 4 a.m. risk ranking would be the cleanliness of my hands, the lettuce and tomato. Australia has a problem with Salmonella outbreaks linked to raw egg dishes so I use commercial mayo. The chicken was temperature verified to greater than 165F last night and leftovers refrigerated within an hour.

Sorenne doesn’t go in much for sandwiches, but she will have some chunks of chicken meat included in her lunch. Tonight will probably be bulgur and chicken and other stuff.

deadly food poisoning; procedures weren’t followed, management clueless

Three patients died, 42 other patients and 12 staff members got sick from Clostridium perfringens in improperly stored chicken salad, so the administrator and associate administrator at Central Louisiana State Hospital have, as they politely say in the South (and smile while the knife goes in), left the facility.

The appropriately named Town Talk reports today the investigations also revealed what the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals termed unacceptable process and management issues.

The investigations, ordered by DHH Secretary Alan Levine, found serious deficiencies in dietary services and concerns with the overall operation of the hospital.

Levine said,

“The day of these tragic deaths, I went to Pineville with Deputy Secretary Tony Keck to personally assess what had happened. We ordered a comprehensive investigation into the patient deaths, and asked other agencies to conduct expert reviews into various issues.

“The staff at CLSH was cooperative, and I’m grateful for that. But I have seen enough evidence of unacceptable performance that I am convinced major changes are necessary. Basic policies were not followed. Staff was not properly educated. The findings across the board raise real concerns related to overall management that go beyond the food service area.”