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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you bought chicken salad at Costco on or before November 20th – throw it out.
A vegetable mix used in the salad may be the source of E.coli bacteria that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states. So far there have been no reports of E.coli in Florida.
The company that produces the mix, California-based Taylor Farms Pacific Inc., has recalled a mix of diced celery and onion used in Costco chicken salad and other foods containing celery “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the Food and Drug Administration
The foods range from Thai-style salads to packaged dinners and wraps, and they are sold at Costco, Target, Starbucks and many other outlets, the FDA said.
Costco says it uses one supplier for those vegetables in the chicken salad sold in all its U.S. stores.
Costco pulled the chicken salad off store shelves nationwide, posted signs in its stores and provided detailed purchase logs to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help it track who bought the product and where the salad ingredients came from.
Six people got sick in Montana, five in Utah, four in Colorado, and one each in California, Missouri, Virginia and Washington state.
The strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can be life-threatening, but no deaths have been reported. Five people have been hospitalized, including two with kidney failure.
Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. The incubation period is three to seven days from the time of exposure.
The number of people sickened in the outbreak will likely grow over the next few weeks, even though the product has been removed from store shelves, the CDC said Wednesday.
Health officials urge anyone with the symptoms, especially people who have eaten Costco chicken salad, to go to their doctor.
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