A day after Iowa officials warned the public about an outbreak of Salmonella linked to chicken salad, federal officials issued an alert saying the implicated product was sold in at least four other states.
Neither the Iowa Department of Health nor the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) named the manufacturer of the chicken salad, which was sold at all Fareway Stores Inc. grocery stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.
“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers,” according to the public alert posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday night.
“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.”
Iowa officials reported Tuesday they were investigating “multiple cases” of Salmonella infection “across Iowa” in relation to the chicken salad. However, they did not report the number of sick people or when the illnesses began.
Fareway Stores Inc. had not issued a recall as of Wednesday night.
The implicated chicken salad was produced from Dec. 15, 2017, and Tuesday, according to the public health alert posted Wednesday night by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The chicken salad was sold in plastic deli containers of varying weights with a Fareway store deli labels.
Iowa officials apparently knew about the problem before Feb. 9, but they did not alert the public until Tuesday.
“On Feb. 9 the Iowa Department of Public Health notified FSIS of an investigation of Salmonella related illnesses, within the state of Iowa,” according to the federal alert posted Wednesday.
Anyone who has eaten any chicken salad from Fareway stores and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria. However, in some people it takes two weeks for symptoms to develop.
Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually last for four to seven days.
Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness.
Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but they are still be able to spread the infection to others.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)