Costco E. coli scare expands to other retailers

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:


The E. coli recall that was originally linked to Costco has expanded to include more states, major grocery store chains and involves more than 155,000 items.


  • Retailers affected by the recall include major grocery chains, some in Washington
  • 155,000 items targeted by the recall  include vegetable trays and salad kits
  • Starbucks could be affected by same E. coli strain as Costco outbreak
  • Starbucks panini sandwiches recalled from stores in California, Oregon and Nevada
  • Washington not affected in Starbucks recall
  • One Washington resident was sickened in E. coli cases tied to Costco
  • Full list of recalled items from FDA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified a celery blend to be a likely cause of an E. coli outbreak that sickened 19 people in seven states, including Washington. Health officials tested the celery and onion diced blend produced by Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. that was used in the Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad, which was linked to the E. coli outbreak.

After the test, Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. recalled multiple celery products, including Starbucks panini  sandwiches and prepared foods at other retailers.

Other stores affected by the recall include major grocery chains such as Walmart, Safeway and Albertsons, as well as 7-Eleven stores,  according to CNN, some of which are in Washington state.  In total, over 155,000 items are targeted by the recall and include vegetable trays, salad kits and other prepared foods. While the western region of the country remains the primary focus, other states that are now part of the recall include Georgia, Arkansas, Nebraska and Hawaii.

Bloomberg Business reports 1,347 Starbucks sandwiches were recalled last week in certain locations in California, Oregon and Nevada. 

No other markets were affected by the sandwiches in Starbucks holiday campaign, spokeswoman Erin Jane Schaeffer told Bloomberg. The company hasn’t received any reports of illness, Schaeffer said.

The panini contains a seasonal stuffing with celery in it.

In mid-November, 43 Chipotle stores across the Northwest reopened after shutting down amid an E. coli outbreak. The ingredient in that outbreak has not been identified. 

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