The investigation into the E .coli outbreak linked to Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad has hit a snag. Several weeks ago, the Montana Public Health Laboratory tested a sample, collected from a Costco in Montana, of Taylor Farms celery and onion mix used to make the salad. Preliminary results indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. The finding triggered a massive recall of celery and products containing celery produced by Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. But now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it, too, tested the sample and found no E. coli O157:H7.
Officials from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say diced celery and onion blend has not been ruled out as a source of the outbreak. They just can’t confirm Montana’s findings. The ingredients of the salad include rotisserie chicken, seasonings, water, eggs, celery and onions.
The outbreak includes 19 people in seven states. Five of them have been hospitalized; two with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication that causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke and coma.
The CDC says it has received no new reports of illness since November 23. By state, the case count is as follows: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).
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