CDC: Five states hit by Salmonella outbreak linked to chicken salad

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Label of recalled Triple T Specialty Meats chicken salad
Label of recalled Triple T Specialty Meats chicken salad

Related tags: Salmonella

Five states are affected by an outbreak of Salmonella linked to chicken salad, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A total of 28 people have been hospitalised with Salmonella Typhimurium infection.

CDC reported 65 people infected with the outbreak strain (Iowa 55 cases; Illinois four; Minnesota two; Nebraska three and Texas one).

However, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) said there are 37 confirmed and 78 probable cases.

CDC said some people may not be included because no bacterial isolates are available for DNA fingerprinting due to the use of culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs).

Public health officials in Iowa detected the outbreak and linked illnesses to chicken salad sold at Fareway stores. CDC searched the PulseNet database and identified illnesses in other states.

Triple T recall

Triple T Specialty Meats recalled chicken salad​ sold in various weights from the deli at Fareway stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota from 4 January to 9 February.

A total of 20,630 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad was recalled, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS).

Product was shipped to Fareway stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

It was made from 2 January to 7 February. Illness dates range from 8 January to 10 February.

CDC advised people not to eat recalled chicken salad sold at Fareway grocery stores. 

Whole genome sequencing on bacterial isolates from ill people showed close relation genetically meaning they are likely to share a common source of infection.

Ill people range from 11 to 89 years with a median age of 57 and 42 are female.

Forty-five of 58 people interviewed reported eating chicken salad from Fareway stores.

Sale stopped and product discarded

Fareway stopped selling chicken salad in all stores on 9 February.

The company said it will not be sold again at any stores until the problem has been resolved.

“At this time, based on our full cooperation with the appropriate parties, correspondence and investigation, we believe that this incident is not the result of anything done by Fareway. We also have no reason to believe this involves any other products.”

Investigators in Iowa collected chicken salad from two Fareway grocery stores in Iowa for testing. The outbreak strain of S. Typhimurium was identified in both samples.

“The bottom line is that no one should eat this product. If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away,”​ said Dr Patricia Quinlisk, IDPH medical director.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated product. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.

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