Utah Health officials are investigating illnesses in Utah and six other states associated with chicken salad sold by Costco.
Exposure to an E-coli bacteria has made five Utahns sick so far and two of those have been hospitalized. Laine McCullough is an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health. She says even though stores have pulled the product and none of it has tested positive for the bacteria, they want to make sure no else gets sick.
“That’s really what we want to emphasize,” says McCullough, “If anyone still has this product at home, we would urge them to either throw it away or take it back to the store and watch out for symptoms.”
McCullough says flu-like symptoms can start between 2 and 10 days from exposure and can be life threatening for kids or those with compromised immune systems. She says the investigation by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is complicated because the salad with rotisserie chicken is put together in-store with ingredients from a variety of sources.
“And so right now we’re trying to track down to find out what may have been the actual cause of the contamination.”
McCullough says no deaths have been reported. Those affected in Utah range in age from 9 to 84. Three are females and two are males.