Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

Starbucks Pulls Turkey Sandwich From West Coast Stores After E. Coli Scare

  • Chain affected by same E. coli strain as Costco outbreak
  • No reports of illness from eating Starbucks sandwiches

Starbucks Corp. pulled its holiday turkey paninis from 1,347 U.S. locations last week after the sandwiches were tied to the same E. coli recall that struck Costco Wholesale Corp.

The sandwiches, part of the chain’s holiday lineup, were recalled in certain locations in California, Oregon and Nevada, said Erin Jane Schaeffer, a spokeswoman for Seattle-based Starbucks. No other markets were affected, and the company hasn’t received any reports of illness, she said.

Cranberry cornbread stuffing in the panini contained celery, the ingredient that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified last week as the likely cause of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people in seven states. After health officials found the bacteria in the celery-and-onion blend used in Costco’s chicken salad, Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. recalled multiple celery products, including the Starbucks sandwiches.

Starbucks is the latest restaurant chain to be hit with a food-safety scare. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. also is dealing with an E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 45 customers. Health officials are still trying to identify the tainted ingredient.

While it’s common for people to have E. coli in their intestines, some forms of the bacteria can be dangerous. They may cause diarrhea, as well as kidney failure, especially in young children and the elderly.

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