BOONE, Iowa — Fareway’s famous chicken salad will no longer be found on the store’s shelves, as the product has been pulled following a salmonella outbreak.
Jim Fox, a Grimes resident, said the chicken salad used to be one of his favorite foods. However, that was before he ate a salmonella-contaminated batch and became extremely sick earlier this week.
“It just kept getting worse. Tuesday I had diarrhea 15 times, by Wednesday morning I could barely function. I just got in the car and drove straight to the hospital,” he said.
That’s where Fox tested positive for salmonella. According to the USDA, Fox is among 100 other cases reported across five states.
“They said, ‘well, a day in the hospital, maybe two, we can get you through this,’ and that was on Wednesday morning. Thursday morning, about two o’clock in the morning, my room is full of doctors and nurses because my heart’s in AFib, I was so dehydrated,” he said.
Scared he wouldn’t survive, Fox now wants to be compensated for his lost wages and hefty hospital bill. He’s not alone in this–the outbreak also sparked lawsuits in Illinois and South Dakota.
“We have filed suit on behalf of four people so far, we expect there will be others,” said attorney Steve Wandro of Wandro & Associates.
Fox and three others suing Fareway and their Iowa-based meat supplier, Triple T Meats. According to the USDA, more than 20,000 pounds of tainted chicken salad was manufactured at Triple T and then shipped to Fareway.
“From what I’ve heard, I have not talked to them personally, is that they’re saying, ‘it wasn’t our fault, someone else was at fault,'” Wandro said.
The executive director of Triple T said the FDA recently tested the facility for salmonella and listeria, and all 60 results came back negative.
“So was it an employee that was sick, was it an employee that didn’t wash after the restroom?” wondered Fox.
Fox and his attorneys say Fareway or Triple T meats are to blame and that someone needs to be held accountable.
“At the end of the day they will do the right thing, but again, consumers are consumers. When you go into Fareway and you buy chicken salad, you expect it to be safe,” said Wandro.
Wandro also said he has never seen a food-borne outbreak this bad in Iowa. Channel 13 reached out to Fareway for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication.