December 15, 2018

Farm Rich E. coli O121 Outbreak Grows to 32 Ill

The outbreak of E. coli O121 infections linked to the Farm Rich brand frozen food products has grown to include 32 people in 18 states, according to the CDC. Nine people have been hospitalized. There are no deaths. Two patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.¬†All Farm Rich products, including Market Day and Schwan’s, that were made at the company’s Waycross, Georgia plant have been recalled.

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The number of ill persons in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), New York (4), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). New cases were reported in California, Colorado, Ohio, and Florida. Illness onset dates range from December 30, 2013 to April 2, 2013. Ill persons range in age from one year to 75 years, with a median age of 17 years.

Public health officials found the outbreak strain of STEC O121 in two different Farm Rich frozen products taken from the homes of patients. Bacteria were found in individually wrapped frozen mini pizza slices, and also in an opened package of frozen chicken quesadillas. Investigators state that “information available to date indicates that consumption of Farm Rich brand frozen food products is one likely source of infection for the ill persons in this outbreak.” The USDA and FDA are conducting investigations to determine the source of contamination.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea, which may be watery and/or bloody, severe abdominal and stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and a mild fever. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Long term effects of an E. coli infection can be severe.

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