Culprit found in chicken salad; E. coli related recall widens

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ST. GEORGE — The recent discovery of E. coli O157:H7 in Costco brand rotisserie chicken salad initiated wide recalls of the product throughout 18 states. It was also discovered in a Starbucks holiday turkey sandwich as well as many other products. But it was not the chicken or turkey that was at fault in the recalls.

The culprit was the celery in each of the products.

Taylor Farms Pacific of Tracy, California, is recalling celery. Certain products that included the celery could be tainted with the E. coli pathogen. One of those was the Starbucks holiday turkey and stuffing panini

“It’s a common misconception that hamburgers and chicken are the biggest threats when it comes to foodborne illness,” food safety attorney Bill Marler of Seattle said in a press release. “A lot of illnesses actually come from fruits and veggies, especially uncooked foods like spinach and tomatoes, and as we’ve seen recently, cucumbers and celery.”

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administation, E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness with possible bloody stools. Most healthy adults will completely recover within a week, but some people may develop a form of kidney failure. This failure most often occurs in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and in extreme cases, death.

If you have concerns about consumption of any of the recalled products, contact a health care provider immediately.

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