Chicken salad salmonella infects 150+ people

Columbia College not affected

Photo Credit: Food Safety News

Photo Credit: Food Safety News

Skye Shaw, staff writer

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Chicken salad tainted with strains of Salmonella Typhimurium has infected 170 people in seven states as of March 6.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from Jan. 8 to Feb. 18. Those infected range in age from 7 to 89 years. Sixty-six percent are female. The number of hospitalized reached 67, and no deaths have been reported. The strain of salmonella takes an average of two to four weeks to infect the body

State and local health officials continue to interview people to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 159 people interviewed, 131 (82 percent) reported eating chicken salad from Fareway stores. Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. produced the chicken salad.

On Feb. 21, Triple T. recalled all chicken salad produced from Jan. 2 to Feb. 7. The recalled chicken salad was sold in containers of various weights from the deli at Fareway grocery stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota from Jan. 4 to Feb. 9.

The CDC recommends throwing away all recalled chicken salad from Fareway stores and sanitizing all countertops and other surfaces where the recalled chicken salad was stored.

Salmonella bacteria are a common cause of food poisoning in the U.S. and are responsible for approximately 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year, according to the CDC. About 1 million of these cases are caused by contaminated food.

Columbia College has not been affected by this chicken salad salmonella strain.  “All of our distributors go through rigorous contractual inspections; they have to be authorized before we can use them,” said Jeff Hamman, general manager for Columbia College Sodexo dining services. “Once we start to use them [vendors], we get alerts saying that a product has been recalled.”

“We get the lot numbers, the case numbers and anything else we can get to pinpoint where exactly is this recalled product,” said Alesha Zimmer, executive chef for Columbia College Sodexo dining services. “However, chicken salad is made here at Columbia College; everything is always fresh. Our poultry distributor is Tyson®. This is where all of our fresh chicken comes from.”






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