Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. of Tracy recently issued a defective product recall for a number of celery products used in food including Costco’s rotisserie chicken salad, which tested positive for E. coli. According to a news report in The Albany Daily Star, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now says that the tainted celery may be in many other products across the nation sold by major grocery and retail outlets such as Target and Starbucks.
Products Affected By the Recall
So far, 19 people from seven states including California have been sickened from eating these products. Five of the patients were hospitalized and two have developed kidney failure. Costco has removed the chicken salad from all stores in the U.S. and has halted further production of the product. Consumers who purchased the chicken salad are urged to discard it.
Taylor Farms is also recalling a number of other products that may include the tainted celery including Starbucks’ holiday turkey and stuffing Panini, a number of pre-made salads, sandwiches and vegetable mixes from Target, Wal-Mart, Costco and Safeway. A complete list of all the affected products can be found on FDA’s website, fda.gov.
The Danger of E. coli
Symptoms of an E. coli infection can be quiet severe. Although they may vary from individual to individual, they often include severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Although people do get better within five to seven days, some infections can be severe and even life threatening. About 10 percent of E. coli infections could result in a condition called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS, which results in kidney failure.
HUS is a condition that results from abnormal premature destruction of red blood cells. Once this process begins, the damages red blood cells begin to clog the filtering system in the kidneys, which may eventually cause the life-threatening kidney failure associated with HUS.
If You Have Been Affected
Here are some of the steps you can take if you or a loved one has been sickened by these or other products:
• Get prompt diagnosis, medical attention, treatment and care for your illness.
• Isolate and preserve the suspect food so it can be independently tested in a laboratory for the presence of pathogens.
• Report your illness to the local healthcare agency, which tracks these types of illnesses and outbreaks.
• Save all your receipts and bills relating to expenses incurred as a result of your illness.
• Contact an experienced California food poisoning attorney who will work to protect your rights and hold the food producer accountable.