FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2015
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391
Additional celery products removed from Montana stores due to E.coli concerns
The ongoing investigation linked to Costco chicken salad that has sickened six Montanans with E.coli O157 has revealed that the celery onion component may be the source of contamination.
As a precaution Taylor Farms Pacific, the supplier of the produce ingredients, has recalled additional celery products that were supplied to Costco, Albertsons, Safeway, Sam’s Club, and Walmart.
Local regulatory authorities in Montana reported products have been removed from store shelves, and are no longer available for consumers to purchase. However, DPHHS advises Montanans that any recalled product that may be in their possession should be discarded or destroyed, and not consumed.
Consumers or restaurant operators who still have certain processed celery products in their possession are encouraged to review the list of recalled items at www.fcss.mt.gov and dispose of any remaining product. Recalled products include bagged salads with chopped celery and celery trays. Stalk celery purchased at the produce department has not been affected by this recall.
According to Dana Fejes of the DPHHS Communicable Disease Epidemiology Section, the state is issuing this message to ensure additional product identified in this outbreak investigation is not consumed.
“We encourage consumers to check if processed celery products they purchased were recalled,” she said. “If anyone consumed the recalled products and has become ill, we encourage them to consult with their healthcare provider.”
Fejes also indicated that with help of local, state and federal partners, this information became available because laboratory testing at the DPHHS Public Health Laboratory pointed investigators to follow the celery onion mix to its source and from there to any other outlets. Taylor Farms has been very cooperative and recalled any potentially affected product out of abundance of caution, Fejes added.