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Costco E. Coli Recall Expands to Georgia

E. coli has been linked to celery sticks sold by the store.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Another outbreak of foodborne illness, this one affecting discount superstore chain Costco, could affect the Peach State. The company is recalling 4 inch celery sticks it sold in seven states, including Georgia. The celery, sourced from Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. in California, has been linked to E. coli.

The recall applies to bags of the celery sticks with "use by" dates between November 20 and December 8. So far, 19 people have fallen ill and five have been hospitalized — two with a type of kidney failure. This E. coli outbreak could be more dangerous than the one that recently was connected to Chipotle because of the symptoms it can cause.

"The type of E. coli involved the Chipotle cases is E. coli O26," a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control told Eater. "This type of E. coli produces the same toxins produced by E. coli O157 (which is the strain involved in the cases linked to the Costco rotisserie chicken salad), and causes a similar illness, though it is less likely to lead to kidney problems (called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS)."

Costco isn't the only brand that's been forced to recall the tainted celery. Some prepared foods at Target and Starbucks also included the ingredient.