Initial testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points toward a vegetable mix sourced from a California produce wholesaler as the potential source of E. coli connected with Costco’s rotisserie chicken salad. At least 19 people in seven states have so far been sickened with E. coli infections linked to the chicken salad, which Costco has pulled from store shelves. Craig Wilson, the company’s vice president of food safety and quality assurance, said Wednesday that FDA had told him that the strain of E. coli identified in the outbreak (O157:H7) appears linked to an onion and celery mix used in the chicken salad. Costco only has one supplier for those vegetables in the chicken salad, which is sold in all its U.S. stores, Wilson said, adding that the supplier is Taylor Farms of Salinas, CA. Wilson noted that one more test needed to be done in order to confirm that the outbreak strain of E. coli is the same one found in the vegetable mix. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday, Nov. 24, that it was working with FDA and health officials in the affected states to investigate the outbreak and that it would sharing additional information with the public as it becomes available.
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