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E. coli Outbreak Leads to a Massive Celery Recall at Major Grocery and Chain Stores

Update Date: Dec 03, 2015 09:40 AM EST
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Due to concerns related to the E. coli outbreak, major grocery and chain stores are recalling food items that contained celery sourced from California-based company, Taylor Farms Pacific Inc.

Taylor Farms Pacific announced last week that it will be recalling a celery-onion mixture "out of an abundance of caution." The company stated a sample of the product had tested positive for harmful E. coli. The test was conducted by the Montana Department of Health.

The mixture, which was used in Costco's chicken salad, appeared to be the cause of 19 illnesses from seven states (California, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Virginia and Washington), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

When the outbreak first started, Costco had already recalled its chicken salad. Health authorities have advised consumers who purchased the chicken salad on or prior to Nov. 20 to throw it away. Costco has also recalled other items.

Now, other grocery stores including Walmart, Sam's Club, Albertsons, Target and Safeway, are also recalling food items that could pose a health risk to consumers. Chain stores, such as Starbucks and 7-Eleven, are also involved in the recall.

For the full list, visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) page here.

The bacterium responsible for the illness is a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (O157:H7). This particular strain can lead to kidney failure in roughly six to nine percent of the cases seen in adults and about 15 percent of the cases in children. Common symptoms of an infection include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

There have been no deaths reported in this outbreak. Five people were hospitalized and two had kidney failure.

The CDC expects more cases to be reported over the next few weeks.

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