October 16, 2018

Farm Rich Food Recalled for E. coli Sold to Schools

The Farm Rich products recalled for E. coli O121 and linked to a multistate outbreak may have been served in schools on the east coast in the United States. So far in this investigation, only one school district, Harford in Maryland, sent a letter to parents last week stating that recalled Pizza Dippers and Mini Pizzas were served to children for lunch. The outbreak strain of the bacteria was found in a box of the Mini Pizzas from a patient’s home in Texas.

School LunchNow the company is saying that 300,000 pounds of the 10,000,000 recalled products were sold to schools. Public health officials are hoping that the products were cooked more thoroughly in school kitchens and tested with food thermometers; something that may not have happened when the products were cooked by the general public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not said if the people who have been sickened in this outbreak, most of whom are under age 21, ate the products at schools or at home. We do know that 25-pound cases of BBQ Chicken Sandwich Melt, Meatball Marinara Sandwich Melt, Whole Grain Rich Pepperoni Pizzata, Turkey Pizzata, Pepperoni Pizzata, Pizza Dippers, and Handheld Stuffed Pepperoni Pleezer were sold to institutions around the country.

Twenty-seven people have been sickened in this outbreak; nine have been hospitalized and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli bacterial infections. The CDC expects this outbreak to grow again before it ends. Complicating matters further is the fact that the company estimates that 3 million pounds of the product are still in freezers around the country.

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