The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms at least one death from a recent salmonella outbreak that affected eight states and caused 265 people to get sick, and also caused 94 people to be hospitalized.
Federal officials the death of a woman from Iowa is tied to salmonella poisoning from a contaminated chicken salad sold by Fareway Stores, a Boone-based retail chain. The state's top health expert isn't so sure, however.
"It was the same strain, but where she got it, we just don't know," said Patricia Quinlisk, of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Chicken Salad Culprit Of Salmonella Outbreak
An Ackley company prepared the chicken salad in question, found to have been tainted with salmonella bacteria, which can cause severe stomach and intestinal complications. The salmonella outbreak was first reported late February, with state department investigations confirming the food came from Triple T Specialty Meats, which made it especially for Fareway stores.
"CDC recommends people do not eat any remaining recalled chicken salad sold at Fareway grocery stores, including any that has been frozen. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase," said the CDC in its latest and final report on the outbreak.
Lawsuits Filed Against Fareway And Chicken Salad Maker
Others affected with poisoning have launched lawsuits, and others are presently contemplating whether they should too. One woman from North Liberty is of the patients suing both Fareway and Triple T Specialty Meats.
"That could have been me," she said upon hearing that a death had been tied to the outbreak.
After consuming the chicken salad, she experienced body aches, a headache, a severe case of diarrhea, and weight loss. Her physician even suspected she had the flu.
"It was horrific, truly horrific." She's now at home, although still weak from the food poisoning and subsequent hospitalization.
Salmonella often thrives in uncooked chicken and, when ingested can cause cramps, fever, and an intense case of diarrhea. Some people even reach a point of severe dehydration that need to go to the hospital for more immediate care. Most people recover within a week, although symptoms may persist for months.
Fareway has since pulled the chicken salad from its stores and has offered refunds to any consumers who had purchased the product. The company said it's as "disappointed" and "concerned" as its customers.
"This outbreak appears to be over," according to the CDC, which advises to throw away the contaminated chicken salad and sanitize countertops, drawers, or freezers where it might have been stored.