Of the 170 patients for whom complete details were made available, 62 had symptoms so severe they required emergency hospitalization, CDC said. No deaths have yet been confirmed.
“Another 105 ill people from six states were added to this investigation since the last update on Feb. 22,” CDC said in a press release on Thursday. “The newly reported ill people likely bought contaminated chicken salad before it was recalled.”
Additional illnesses will likely be reported due to the 2-to-4-week lag time between diagnosis and reports reaching the CDC, according to the agency. Illnesses that began after Feb. 12 probably haven’t all been reported to the CDC yet.
A joint investigation conducted by the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) linked the outbreak to chicken salad produced by Triple T Specialty Meats Inc., sold from Jan. 4 to Feb. 9 at Fareway locations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Fareway recalled the implicated chicken products from stores on Feb. 9, after the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals contacted the company about illnesses. However, Triple T failed to announce a recall of its own until Feb. 21, when it pulled 20,600 pounds of chicken salad made Jan. 2-Feb. 7 and packaged for Fareway.
Most people who develop salmonella infections experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness lasts about 4 to 7 days.
Most people recover without treatment, but in some cases, diarrhea can be so severe that patients needs to be hospitalized. In rare cases, salmonella can be deadly unless a patient receives prompt treatment with antibiotics.