In the Iowa Salmonella outbreak linked to Fareway chicken salad, 240 people were sickened, over 30 of whom are being represented by lawyer Ryan Osterholm. Tragically, one of these people, a woman from eastern Iowa, died. There were also 15 people from 7 other states sickened in this outbreak.

“This outbreak harmed hundreds of people and took the life of one woman from Iowa. I and my team are gathering evidence to find out how this happened.”Lawyer Ryan Osterholm

In the CDC Final Report of the outbreak, the agency states: “Ninety-four hospitalizations were reported, including one person from Iowa who died.” Even though this person died before the CDC could find out if she ate Fareway chicken salad, she is considered part of this outbreak. This is because genetic testing of the Salmonella bacteria that made her sick indicates that she was sickened by the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium.

“Every outbreak involves at least one genetically unique strain of bacteria. Everyone sickened by this ‘outbreak strain’ was sickened by the same source, most often a food product. We have won wrongful death cases where the outbreak victim died before anyone could find out what that person ate before getting sick. The important thing is for the family to have the opportunity to file a lawsuit and get answers, compensation and justice.”Lawyer Ryan Osterholm

This is an image of Salmonella bacteria under a high magnification of 10431 times. The CDC has the technology to make a “fingerprint” of the DNA of a single cell. When people are sickened by Salmonella with matching DNA fingerprints, it means they were sickened by the same source. In this case, the CDC has determined that food source was Fareway chicken salad.

Ryan Osterholm, lead attorney for our clients sickened in this outbreak, was interviewed by the Des Moines Register in an article discussing the death of the Iowa woman and the case of Donna Whipple, one of Ryan’s clients. Ryan filed a lawsuit on Ms. Whipple’s behalf on February 22, 2018. She had recently had liver transplant surgery before eating the tainted Fareway chicken salad, according to the lawsuit, which was filed against both Fareway Stores and Triple T Specialty Meats.

“Whipple’s lawyer, Ryan Osterholm of Minneapolis, said he wasn’t surprised to hear that a death has been linked to the outbreak, given how ill some of his clients became. He said many more people probably were sickened by the bacteria, but weren’t tested for it. Osterholm represents about 40 people who became ill and has filed three lawsuits so far. He said lawyers are gathering documents as they try to determine who’s liable for the outbreak. ‘We certainly look forward to getting to the bottom of it,’ he said.”Des Moines Register

According to the article in the Des Moines Register, a state epidemiologist told the paper that the woman who died in this outbreak could have been sickened indirectly, from someone else who ate the tainted chicken salad. This can happen when someone who is sick does not wash their hands well enough after having a bowel movement. If feces is left on the hands, it can get on another person’s hands, and that person can ingest the contaminated feces. Another possible scenario is that there could have been cross contamination between the chicken salad and another food product that was then eaten by the woman. Regardless, the family still has legal rights based on the genetic testing related to this Salmonella wrongful death.

Contact Lawyer Ryan Osterholm about a Lawsuit against Fareway and Triple T Specialty Meats

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Ryan Osterholm - Attorney
Attorney Ryan Osterholm has filed a number of Salmonella lawsuits in Iowa and is preparing to file others. You can contact him or another Salmonella lawyer at our law firm by using the form on this page or by calling Ryan at 1-888-377-8900 (toll-free).


  1. Leys, Tony. “CDC ties tainted chicken salad to Iowan’s death. State expert says salad may not be to blame.” Des Moines Register. 9 April 2018.
  2. “Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to chicken salad (final update).” CDC. 6 April 2018.