Food safety is a serious problem, particularly regarding the bacteria Escherichia coli -- more commonly known as E. coli. And today comes one of the more significant food safety stories of the year: Costco is recalling a batch of processed butternut squash due to E. coli contamination, according to manufacturer Safeway Fresh Foods. Interestingly, it wasn't spotted due to any customers becoming sick but during routine testing in the company's own lab. Hopefully, things remain that way.
The good news is that the outbreak appears thus far to be confined to a single date code -- 9/19/2023 -- and only to stores in Washington D.C., Maryland, northern Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. This batch was available for purchase between September 7 and September 15, so if you bought butternut squash at a Costco in the affected states between those dates, return it immediately for a full refund. The last thing you want is E. coli poisoning, which can include symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Costco Has Had Issues With Food Safety In The Past
Costco has had its share of recalls in the past. Indeed, the bulk retailer was responsible for one of the more extensive E. coli outbreaks of 2015 (itself a pretty big year for food safety outbreaks), a serious situation in which nineteen people in all were sickened by tainted celery in Costco's rotisserie chicken salad. From there, the outbreak spread to 18 states and other retailers like Walmart, Sam's Club, Target, Safeway, 7-Eleven, and Starbucks through salad kits, vegetable trays, and prepared foods.
There have also been other outbreaks in Costco's history. In 1998, a woman in New York was hospitalized due to tainted Kirkland signature ground beef. Earlier this year, meanwhile, both Costco and Walmart had to recall frozen fruit due to potential hepatitis A contamination. Hopefully, the current butternut squash outbreak doesn't grow to anywhere near that level.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.