comscore Further testing can’t confirm E. coli in Costco salad parts | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Further testing can’t confirm E. coli in Costco salad parts

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Health authorities say chicken salad from Costco has been linked to at least one case of E. coli in Washington state.

SEATTLE >> Federal officials said Tuesday further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.

But the Montana public health officials who did the initial testing also said Tuesday that doesn’t mean their earlier findings were invalid.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release that the onion and celery mix from Taylor Farms Pacific has not been ruled out as the source of the E. coli outbreak that made 19 people sick in seven states and sent five people to the hospital.

Taylor Farms has recalled the vegetable mix from Costco and other retailers.

Jim Murphy, chief of the Communicable Disease Bureau in the Montana health department, said they definitely found bits and pieces of the DNA from the E. coli 157 bacteria in the vegetable mix sample they took from a Montana Costco.

The next step would have required finding some live bacteria to grow in the lab and do genetic fingerprinting and positively match the E. coli with the samples taken from people who got sick.

“We were not able to find live viable organisms,” Murphy said. “We kind of caught the sample too late and we just found the remnants.”

But that does not make Murphy or his team doubt the results of their initial tests. They did repeated testing and got consistent results, he said.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration continue searching for a definitive cause of the E. coli outbreak, but as Murphy said, that becomes more difficult the further they get from the outbreak, which started in late October.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comment (1)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • Always been skeptical of ready made salad materials sold in Supermarkets and Costco. Prefer to tear the lettuce by hand than slicing and washing each leaf and other salad material carefully. Cantaloupes are also notorious for e coli so wash melon in hot sudsy water with a stiff brush. Any root vegetable should be washed carefully. Better be careful/safe than sorry.

Scroll Up