Glass Onion Catering’s chicken and ham salads and wraps, sold at (among other locations) Trader Joe’s, have been implicated in at least 33 E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in four states, with the majority occurring in California, which has reported 28 confirmed cases. Washington State has reported three confirmed cases, and Arizona and Texas one each. Unfortunately, at least ten of the victims have required hospitalization and two of the victims have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which causes kidney failure and can be life threatening.
Notably, this E. coli O157:H7 PFGE pattern is the first of its kind in the PulseNet database.
In response to the identification of its salads as the likely source of the outbreak, on November 10, 2013, Glass Onion Catering issue a voluntary recall of its chicken and ham salads and wraps. These included all Glass Onion Catering’s chicken and ham salads and wraps sold at Trader Joe’s retail outlets in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington state (so far, no illnesses have been reported in Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah).
To date, the outbreak is linked only to products sold at Trader Joe’s – though Walgreens and Whole Food stores also reportedly sold the salad in northern California,. The salads may also have been distributed by various outlets of such corner convenience stores as Shell, Quik Stop, Circle K, Chevron, More for Less, Real Foods, and Simply Smart Foods.
The two salads that tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7, both sold at a Trader Joe’s location, were the Glass Onion Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Glass Onion Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken.
Sadly, a few food banks also received the products, including Albuquerque based Roadrunner Food Bank, the San Antonio Food Bank, the West Seattle Food Bank, the Salt Lake City Utah Food, and Vancouver’s F.I.S.H. of Orchards, WA. These food banks have also issued recalls, though fortunately no reports of injury have yet been reported.
Food poisoning lawyer Ron Simon, of Ron Simon & Associates, is pursuing recoveries for the victims of this E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.