There has been a recent threat of Salmonella outbreak that has possibly been linked with Costco sold chicken salad in north Seattle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning due to this threat.
Just a year ago, CDC found that Costco chicken salad was responsible for E.coli outbreak that spread throughout four states. Four cases of Salmonella infection were observed recently in patients, who had consumed Costco chicken salad. The CDC took action in order to prevent more possible cases of bacterial infection.
Salmonella can cause food poisoning. It is more likely to see cases of Salmonellosis in summer then in winter. Patients that lead to the CDC warnings had eaten the Costco salad in August and September.
Symptoms of salmonellosis are abdominal pain and cramps, diarrhea, fever. The symptoms develop after 12 to 72 hours of consuming contaminated product. Usually patients recover on their own in 7 days time. in some cases symptoms can be very severe and require hospitalization. Immunocompromised people are in higher risk of serious disease. This group includes young kids and elderly, as well as immune-suppressed patients (like patients after organ transplant or with human immunodeficiency virus). A very small part of patients with Salmonellosis can develop reactive arthritis, which can lead to chronic arthritis.
Food can get contaminated during the process of food processing or handling. It can get contaminated by unwashed hands from a person who is infected. Salmonella can also be found in feces of pets. If coming in contact with these feces, person can get infected. Rodents, baby chicks, ducklings are at higher risk to carry Salmonella.
Most often the infection comes from beef, poultry, dairy and eggs. The only way to reassure that the food has no contamination is by thermal processing. In case of Costco salad, the chicken had to be thoroughly cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
To prevent Salmonellosis, make sure not to use raw eggs that can be found in homemade salad dressings, tiramisu or ice cream. Always thoroughly cook meat and avoid raw or unpasteurized dairy products. Also, avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked foods. Always remember to wash your hands with soap. Never prepare or serve food if you have salmonellosis.
The warning was issued because officials were concerned that some people might have frozen the salad, therefore putting themselves at risk for getting food poisoning.