June 19, 2024

Farm Rich E. coli Outbreak Expands

Twenty seven people in 15 states have now been sickened by the E. coli O121 outbreak linked to Farm Rich frozen foods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight people have been hospitalized, two of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of some E.coli infections that can cause kidney failure.

Farm-Rich-E.coli-OutbreakHealth officials have now matched the rare outbreak strain of E. coli O121 to strains found in product from the homes of two case patients. Three new cases, one each in Michigan, Illinois and New York, have been added since the outbreak was announced last Friday. By state, the case counts are as follows:  Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), New York (4), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). More than 80 percent of the people sickened by these products are under 21, but case patients range in age from 2 to 75. The median age is 17.

Yesterday, Farm Rich announced that it had expanded the recall of products possibly tainted with E. coli O121 to include all products manufactured at its facility in Waycross, Ga between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013. The products include pizza slices,  mozzarella bites, quesadillas, cheese steak sandwiches, barbecue chicken sandwiches, meatball sandwiches and mini bacon cheeseburgers.  The recalled products have “Best By” dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014. You can see the full list of recalled products at the USDA web site.

The products were sold under the brand names Farm Rich, Market Day and Schwan’s brands in dozens of stores nationwide including Alco, Food Lion, Food City, Kroger, Price Chopper Ralph’s, Safeway, Schnuck’s, Supervalu, Target, Walmart and Winn Dixxie. Consumers who have these products in their freezers should not eat them.

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