*Updated on 2/26/2018 at 10:15 AM EST
Another Salmonella outbreak has sprung up in the United States—this time it has been linked with a chicken salad product sold at Fareway grocery stores located in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) issued a consumer advisory for Fareway chicken salad on February 13, 2018, reporting that the product has been “implicated in multiple cases of Salmonella illness” throughout Iowa. Preliminary testing from the University of Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory confirmed the presence of Salmonella.
Since being contacted by the DIA on February 9, Fareway stopped selling the chicken salad product and removed the item from their shelves.
On February 10, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released a public health alert, in the hopes of alerting consumers who may have previously purchased the product and may still have it in their refrigerators and freezers.
Details on how many individuals have been infected by the contaminated products were not available until February 16, when the IDPH released probable and confirmed case counts associated with the outbreak. As of February 20, the IDPH reported 37 confirmed cases and 78 probable cases associated with the contaminated product. The Minnesota Department of Health has only confirmed 1 associated case, a Marin County resident, via a Facebook post on February 15.
As the case counts continue to increase, Food Safety News has reported that 3 individuals have decided to take legal action, filing “civil suits in federal court seeking reimbursement for medical expenses and other costs,” according to the news source.
The federal cases call for jury trials and unspecified damages. “The complainants contend Fareway Inc. had a responsibility to customers not to sell contaminated food,” the news source reports. The individuals include Jeff Anderson, an Illinois resident, and Derek and Sarah Porter, a husband and wife living in South Dakota.
Update: The CDC has since announced a multistate outbreak linked to Fareway's chicken salad; as of February 22, 2018, 65 individuals have fallen ill in 5 states.
To stay informed on the most recent case counts associated with the multistate Salmonella outbreak, be sure to check out the Contagion ® Outbreak Monitor.