Safety Recall: Costco US Chicken Salad Linked to E.Coli Infections

November 25th, 2015 · 4 Comments

I love the Costco rotisserie chicken salad, and I know a lot of other people do too.  Unfortunately, in the last few days it has been linked to several E.coli infections across multiple states.  At least 19 people, across seven states, have been infected with E.coli as a result of eating the chicken salad from Costco.  The source of the contamination hasn’t been identified yet, but Costco is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and CDC to identify it as quickly as possible.

Food contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with this bacteria my cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

According to the CDC infections linked to the chicken salad have been reported in Montana, Utah, Colorado, California, Missouri, Virginia and Washington.  Two individuals have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a type of kidney failure that can lead to permanent organ damage.  So, as you can imagine, this is nothing to mess around with.

Costco stopped selling and producing the chicken salad as of November 20, immediately after it was notified by federal health officials of the link with the E.coli infections.  However, infections from early November have been linked to chicken salad purchased as far back as the end of October, on the 25th, so this has been an issue for about a month.  If you have purchased the chicken salad and still have some of it in your fridge, do not eat it and just throw it away, even if you’ve had some and haven’t gotten ill.  If you still have some, you should return it for a refund from Costco.

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4 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 cider hamper // 2016.08.20 at 3:04 pm

    Really!!! I am shocked. It is horrible to hear. Thanks for informing.

  2. 2 Kimberly // 2015.11.26 at 10:20 am

    It looks like the contaminate was a celery and onion mixture from a California company that Costco uses in the preparation of the chicken salad, according to FDA testing. They are still conducting further tests to confirm that the vegetables are responsible for the contamination.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/coli-tied-costco-dangerous-chipotle-outbreak-35414416

    Just as an aside, commercially produced mayonnaise contains too much vinegar to lead to the necessary bacterial growth for food poisoning. The things that people mix with it, however, are a different matter. Also, improper storage, like what you would find at a backyard BBQ or a picnic, is far more likely to be a major factor in food poisoning outbreaks in dishes where mayonnaise is used.

  3. 3 Carolyn in Utah // 2015.11.26 at 2:44 am

    I bought two of their rotisserie chickens a few weeks ago and removed the meat to chop up for croissant sandwiches– one of the chickens was still bloody inside! If they are using those same under-cooked chickens in their chicken salad I can see why people are getting sick. I have never bought a mayonnaise-based dish from any store, EVER. Such a huge risk. Not even from a store that I (formerly) trusted like Costco. I had no idea that E.coli had the terrible consequences listed above– I am so sorry for those poor people affected!

  4. 4 Melody // 2015.11.25 at 1:52 pm

    I purchased their organ eggs last summer, everyone promptly became sick and I have never purchased their eggs again. I did return the unused eggs for a refund. Overall I have been less and less impressed with Costco and their ‘fresh items. Cleaning supplies great, so far frozen vegetables great, spices so so so. That’s it for me. Once they make the switch to visa I will reevaluate my membership needs.

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