USDA food safety service issues recall for Fareway chicken salad

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government issued a recall of chicken salad made by an Iowa processing company and distributed by Fareway Stores which has now sickened more than 100 people in five states and prompted lawsuits in Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said it linked 115 cases of salmonella-related illnesses to the chicken salad sold by the Boone, Iowa-based grocery store chain. Fareway has more than 100 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Public health officials report a sick couple in South Dakota and one case each in Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois are linked to chicken salad.

Jim Fox, 65, a convenience store assistant manager in Madrid, Iowa, was hospitalized twice after he fell ill on Feb. 4. The salmonella weakened him to the point that his heart began beating irregularly and his kidneys went into distress. He was hospitalized for five days.

He'd eaten Fareway chicken salad for years without trouble, he said. Fox has filled out paperwork to join others in a lawsuit to recover his medical costs and lost work.

The recalled chicken salad was bought between Jan. 4 and Feb. 9 and sold in plastic deli containers with a Fareway store deli label. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals said no chicken salad has been sold since Feb. 9.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued the recall Wednesday for 20,630 pounds of the chicken salad made at Triple T Specialty Meats Inc.

The Ackley, Iowa, company grew from a familyowned meat locker to a federally inspected meat processor that provides a variety of processed foods for private label customers like Fareway, catering and mail order retail.

Any chicken salad from the recalled dates in any refrigerators or freezers should be thrown away.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Some people develop severe symptoms that require hospitalization.

Public health officials said that the number of cases could reach several hundred before the outbreak is over.