Costco Is Latest Chain Linked to Multistate E. Coli Outbreak

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Chicken salad sold by Costco is believed to be the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states, according to the federal government.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday that federal and state officials were investigating the outbreak.

The product believed to have caused the illnesses is labeled “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” with item number 37719. However, the ongoing investigation has yet to identify the specific ingredient at issue.

According to the CDC, illnesses have been reported in:

  • California — 1 case
  • Colorado — 4
  • Missouri — 1
  • Montana — 6
  • Utah — 5
  • Virginia — 1
  • Washington — 1

No deaths have been reported, though five of the sickened people have been hospitalized and two have developed kidney failure.

Costco told public health officials on Nov. 20 that the wholesale club chain had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all U.S. stores and stopped production, according to the CDC.

Escherichia coli, or E. coli, bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals as an important part of a healthy intestinal tract. Most are harmless but some can cause illness outside the tract, when transmitted through contaminated water or food or contact with animals or persons.

Another national company that has made headlines recently for its connection to a multistate E. coli outbreak is fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The CDC issued its latest update on that outbreak, which began in late October, on Nov. 24, reporting that three additional states had reported infected people. That brought the total to 45 infected people across six states:

  • California — 2 cases
  • Minnesota — 2
  • New York — 1
  • Ohio — 1
  • Oregon — 13
  • Washington — 26

To learn about how to avoid food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria like E. coli, check out “7 Keys to Dodging Deadly Bacteria That Lurk in Your Food.”

Do you take any precautions to avoid food-borne illness? Do you worry about bacteria like E. coli? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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