Public health alert issued for chicken product sold at Costco after 4 illnesses reported

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a public health alert after four illnesses were reported in western Washington. Officials say the illnesses, possibly caused by salmonella, may be linked to a chicken salad product sold at Costco Wholesale in Lynnwood.

The Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad affected was produced Aug. 26 through Sept. 2. Officials are concerned that consumers may have some of the chicken salad in their freezer.

Inspectors say the product has not tested positive for salmonella, but three out of the four patients all consumed the chicken salad from this Costco location.

Anyone who purchased this product on August 26, August 31 and September 2, 2016 are urged not to consume it. It should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Here is more information about foodborne illness from FSIS:

"Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume rotisserie chicken that has been cooked to a temperature of 165° F. The only way to confirm that rotisserie chicken is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature."