Chicken salad sold in Fareway delis in the Midwest is causing an outbreak of salmonellosis.
Ackley, Iowa-based Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. is recalling about 20,630 lbs. of ready-to-eat chicken salad products, which it produced for the grocery chain after reports showed that it may be contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Officials already have confirmed 37 patient cases in Iowa, all of whom got sick between Jan. 14, 2018 and Feb. 6, 2018. Results are pending on whether the outbreak strain is resistant to antibiotics.
The ready-to-eat chicken salad items were produced on various dates between Jan. 2, 2018 and Feb. 7, 2018 for Fareway grocery stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota. And the products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-21011” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
FSIS was first notified by health officials in Iowa of an investigation of Salmonella Typhimurium illnesses on Feb. 9, 2018. The Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory determined that there was a link between the chicken salad from Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. and this outbreak.
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and Department of Public Health say consumers should just throw away any remaining chicken salad.
“The bottom line is that no one should eat this product,” says IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away.”
Fareway voluntarily stopped the sale of the product and pulled the chicken salad from its shelves after being contacted by DIA.
“The company has been very cooperative and is working with IDPH and DIA in the investigation of the reported illnesses,” says DIA Food and Consumer Safety Bureau Chief Steven Mandernach, who noted that no chicken salad has been sold to the consuming public since last Friday evening, Feb. 9, 2018.
FSIS says it continues to work with state and federal health officials to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to this product, including illnesses in states outside of Iowa.
Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days.
Most people recover without treatment. However, for some people the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.
FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to eat them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.