September 23, 2018

Farm Rich E. coli O121 Outbreak Grows Again

The E. coli O121 outbreak linked to Farm Rich brand frozen food products has grown again to include 35 people in 19 states. Nine people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, and no deaths have been reported. Two patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The outbreak has grown from 32 people since the last update in late April.

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The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New York (4), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). Missouri is now included in the outbreak. The new reports of illness come from Ohio and Missouri. Ill persons range in age from one year to 75 years, with a median age of 17 years. Eighty-two percent of patients are 21 years of age or younger.

The outbreak strain of E. coli has been identified in two different Farm Rich products collected from patient’s homes in Texas and New York. All Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan’s brand frozen products made at the Waycross, Georgia plant between July 1, 2011, and March 29, 2013 have been recalled because of this outbreak.

Public health officials are concerned that the frozen items may still be in consumer’s homes. Please check your freezer to see if you have any of the recalled items. If you do, discard them in a closed container. And if you ate any of the recalled products and became ill with symptoms of an E. coli infection, see your doctor immediately and ask for a stool culture. Officials are currently investigating this outbreak to find the source of product contamination.

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