CDC collaborated with public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections. Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. DNA fingerprinting was performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using PFGE and WGS.
A total of 265 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported from 8 states. WGS performed on bacteria isolated from ill people showed that they were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 8, 2018, to March 20, 2018. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 year to 89 years, with a median age of 57. Sixty-seven percent of people were female. Ninety-four hospitalizations were reported, including one person from Iowa who died.
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicated that chicken salad produced by Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. and sold at Fareway grocery stores was the likely source of this multistate outbreak.
Public health officials in Iowa first detected this outbreak and linked the illnesses to chicken salad sold at Fareway grocery stores. CDC searched the PulseNet database and identified illnesses in other states, and those illnesses were added to this outbreak. In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 222 people interviewed, 194 (87%) reported eating chicken salad purchased from Fareway grocery stores. Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. produced the chicken salad that ill people reported eating.
On February 9, 2018, Fareway stopped selling chicken salad in all of its stores after the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals contacted the company about the illnesses. The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals issued a consumer advisory on February 13, 2018 warning that chicken salad sold at Fareway may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Investigators in Iowa collected chicken salad from two Fareway grocery store locations in Iowa for laboratory testing. An outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium was identified in both samples.
On February 21, 2018, Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. recalled all chicken salad produced from January 2, 2018 to February 7, 2018. The recalled chicken salad was sold in containers of various weights from the deli at Fareway grocery stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota from January 4, 2018 to February 9, 2018.