WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) — Some 150,000 products with contaminated celery have been removed from store shelves in 18 states in response to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 19 people.
The Food and Drug Administration has recalled Taylor Farms Pacific celery from nearly a dozen retailers, including Target, Starbucks, Costco and Walmart. It was found to be the source of Costco’s chicken salad recall on Nov. 24.
Products have been recalled in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. It includes some 150,000 products, including more than 45,000 Starbucks holiday turkey sandwichesdistributed in California, Oregon and Nevada.
Although the product has been recalled, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it expects the number of E. coli cases linked to the vegetable blend to grow during the next several weeks because of the wide number of stores and products it was likely used with.
“This is a very bad strain,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told CBS News. “This is one of those strains of E. coli that can result in subsequent kidney failure, especially among children. So it’s a much more hazardous strain than the one that involved the Chipotle restaurants.”
Infection by the Escherichia coli O157:H7 can cause severe diarrhea, anemia and kidney failure, as well as other symptoms depending on the type of E.coli, according to the CDC.
Chipotle was hit with an unrelated E. coli outbreak in November that has been linked to 45 people becoming ill.
Stephen Feller contributed to this report.