More than 100 people across five states have been diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning, leading to a government recall tied to a popular grocery store chain.
The grocery chain, Fareway Stores, operates over 100 stores in the five states affected, and while the exact cause of every salmonella poisoning case has not been determined, officials in one state say deli chicken salad sold by the chain is the culprit in many cases.
Salmonella can be found in a number of fresh foods, so care should always be taken to properly prepare foods before eating. Symptoms of salmonella infections include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and in rare cases vomiting and fever. It can take up to 72 hours to contract salmonella after eating bad food, and it can last for four to seven days. While most people recover without medical treatment, in some rare cases, it can cause complications and even death.
The federal government has recalled Fareway Stores’ chicken salad product after more than 100 people in five states, including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, contracted the bacterial infection.
Iowa’s health department linked 115 cases of salmonella-related illnesses to the chicken salad sold by the grocery store chain – which has more than 100 stores in the states impacted by the outbreak.
Salmonella poisoning, an infection that affects the stomach and digestive tract, can be fatal in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
Public health officials report a sick couple in South Dakota and one case each in Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois are linked to chicken salad.
Jim Fox, 65, a convenience store assistant manager in Madrid, Iowa, was hospitalized twice after he fell ill on February 4. The salmonella weakened him to the point that his heart began beating irregularly and his kidneys went into distress. He was hospitalized for five days.
‘I swear to God, I’ve never been so sick in my life,’ Fox said.
He’d eaten Fareway chicken salad for years without trouble, he said. Fox has filled out paperwork to join others in a lawsuit to recover his medical costs and lost work.
The recalled chicken salad was bought between January 4 and February 9 and sold in plastic deli containers with a Fareway store deli label. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals said no chicken salad has been sold since February 9.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued the recall Wednesday for 20,630 pounds of the chicken salad made at Triple T Specialty Meats Inc.
The Ackley, Iowa, company grew from a family-owned meat locker to a federally inspected meat processor that provides a variety of processed foods for private label customers like Fareway, catering and mail order retail.
Any chicken salad from the recalled dates in any refrigerators or freezers should be thrown away.
Fareway posted on its website ‘that this incident is not the result of anything done by Fareway. We also have no reason to believe this involves any other products.’
Fareway was offering a refund to consumers who bought the chicken salad.
During the past few years, outbreaks have been linked to cucumbers, chicken, eggs, raw tuna, and sprouts.
Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc., an Ackley, Iowa establishment, is recalling approximately 20,630 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The ready-to-eat chicken salad items were produced on various dates between Jan. 2, 2018 and Feb. 7, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:
*3950 lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 01/02/18.
*1250 lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 01/03/18.
*3700 lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 01/12/18.
*2010-lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 01/19/18.
*3660-lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 01/24/18.
*2770-lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 01/31/18.
*3290-lbs. of two 5 lb. bags with “CHICKEN SALAD, PACKED FOR FAREWAY WHOLESALE COMPANY” on the label with a pack date of 02/07/18.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-21011” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to Fareway grocery stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
On February 9, 2018, FSIS was notified by health officials in Iowa of an investigation of Salmonella Typhimurium illnesses. The Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory determined that there is a link between the chicken salad from Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. and this outbreak. Based on epidemiological investigation, 37 confirmed case-patients have been identified in Iowa, with illness onset dates ranging from January 14, 2018 to February 6, 2018. Results are pending on whether the outbreak strain is resistant to antibiotics.
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and Department of Public Health issued a joint Consumer Advisory Issued for Chicken Salad Purchased at Fareway grocery stores on February 13, 2018, advising consumers to throw away any remaining chicken salad product. The chicken salad product subject to recall was purchased from January 4, 2018 to February 9, 2018 in various weight containers from the deli sections in Fareway grocery stores.
FSIS 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. This product was sold at Fareway grocery stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. FSIS will provide updated information as it becomes available.
Consumption of 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. In some persons, however, 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 consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume chicken salad that has been cooked to a temperature of 165° F. The only way to confirm that chicken salad is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Jolene Heikens, chief executive officer of Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc., at (641) 847-0031.