Costco Chicken Salad Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit - Washington (2016)


In September 2016, local, state, and federal agencies investigated an outbreak of Salmonella linked to consumption of rotisserie chicken salad purchased at the Costco Warehouse located at 18109 33rd Avenue West in Lynnwood, Washington. Among Washington residents, 3 persons were laboratory confirmed with Salmonella serotype I, 4, 5, 12:1-. A fourth ill person was a family member epidemiologically linked to the illness in their spouse. Purchase dates ranged from August 26 to September 9. Onset of illness ranged from September 2 to September 6.

Snohomish Health District (SHD) inspectors conducted an on-site inspection at the Lynnwood Costco store on September 26. There were no storage or temperature violations noted. The inspectors did learn that while most Costco stores used a rotating rotisserie to cook the chicken used in the salad mix, the rotisserie at the Lynnwood store did not rotate. Without rotation, the chicken's underbelly and hip joints did not have as much fire exposure as the breast. Furthermore, the store had a practice of testing the temperature of the largest chicken on the rotisserie skewer. Costco has since changed this practice and the temperature of every chicken on the skewer is checked. SHD inspectors collected samples of chicken and salad ingredients for testing. None were positive for Salmonella.

Marler Clark represented individuals affected in this case and working to achieve settlements on their behalf.