September 15, 2019

Farm Rich E. coli Outbreak: Non-O157 STEC Infections Gain Recognition

A new study published in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease found that there was increased recognition of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections in the U.S. during 2000 to 2010. That is precisely the type of bacterial infection linked to the recalled Farm Rich mini meal products. There are six serogroups of E. coli bacteria that produce Shiga toxins that food facilities and the government test for. Those toxins get into the bloodstream and can cause kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and hemolytic anemia. The most common and dangerous is E. coli O157:H7. The other serogroups, listed below, are less common, but can still cause severe symptoms, long term health problems, and even death. The study states that STEC infections are an important cause of … [Read more...]

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. Now 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 … [Read more...]

Retail List for Recalled E coli Farm Rich Products Grows Again

The USDA has released a new retail list for the Farm Rich products recalled for E. coli O121 and linked to a multistate outbreak. The products include frozen chicken quesadillas, pizza slices, mozzarella bites, Philly steaks, meatball sandwiches, and other heat treated, not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack foods. At least 27 people are sick in 15 states, and two of the patients have developed HUS. Look carefully at this long list of stores that sold the products. Nationwide retailers include Alco and Walmart. The smaller stores and chains that sold the recalled foods are in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, … [Read more...]

Farm Rich E. coli Outbreak Issues: Label Confusion and Microwave Ovens

There are two issues that may have had an effect on the Farm Rich E. coli  0121 outbreak that has sickened 27 people in 15 states. Two patients in that outbreak have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of STEC bacterial infections that can cause kidney failure. One  issue is label confusion; the other is microwave safety.  It's an unfortunate fact of modern life that processed foods can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and there is no way for the consumer to know if that processed food is safe. Consumers are the last line of defense against food poisoning. And some manufacturers try to shift the blame for foodborne illness outbreaks to improper consumer food handling. There is no excuse, legally or morally, for a manufacturer to sell a food that contains … [Read more...]

Why Are Teens Most Affected by Farm Rich E. coli O121 Outbreak?

More than 80% of the patients sickened in the Farm Rich E. coli 0121 outbreak are under the age of 21. And the median age of patients is 17. Unfortunately, two of the patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the serious complication of an E. coli infection that can lead to kidney failure. The foods linked to the outbreak are microwavable frozen snacks and mini meals; the types of foods teenagers like to eat. They are easy to make, since all you have to do is pop them in the microwave and turn it on. But there's more to preparing these foods than just "nuking" them. If the products are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, as the recalled products are, how they are handled and prepared is critical. Since manufacturers do not always produce food that is safe to eat, … [Read more...]

Harford County Public School System Says Recalled Farm Rich Products Served to Students

According to The Baltimore Sun, the Harford County Public School System has notified parents that recalled Farm Rich products were served to students this last week. The products are linked to a nationwide E. coli O121 outbreak. A spokesperson for the schools said, "our Food and Nutrition Office was notified late yesterday evening that pepperoni pizzatas, a food item served in the cafeterias, has been voluntarily recalled by the product manufacturer for potential E. coli contamination."  On April 4, the USDA updated their recall to include foodservice products that were shipped to institutions such as schools. The schools that served the Farm Rich pizzatas on Wednesday were: Aberdeen Middle School, Bakerfield Elementary, Bel Air Elementary, Bel Air High School, Edgewood High School, … [Read more...]

Farm Rich E. coli Outbreak Can’t Be Blamed on Consumers

The outbreak of E. coli O121 linked to recalled Farm Rich products is unusual. The ingredients that make up the frozen mini meals and snacks are precooked (chicken, pepperoni, and cheese) and are simply assembled to make a product that is reheated before consuming. No foodborne illness can be blamed on the consumer. Manufacturers have the legal responsibility to produce safe food.  The law states that manufacturers are responsible for making and selling food that will not make consumers sick, but this has happened over and over again. The food you buy should not be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Unfortunately, manufacturers put the burden on the consumer to heat the food to a safe temperature. This so called "consumer kill step" has been the subject of many government studies … [Read more...]

Retail List and Investigation for Farm Rich E. coli O121 Recall Updated

The government issued an expanded recall for Farm Rich products for E. coli O121 contamination yesterday. The retail distribution list was also expanded. Some of the recalled products are linked to an E. coli O121 outbreak that has sickened 24 people in 15 states. Seven have been hospitalized and one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, also known as HUS, a complication of Shiga toxin producing bacteria. According to the USDA update, public health officials think that some of these products are still in household freezers. More than 10 million pounds of food are now included in the recall. Please look at the updated list carefully to see if you have any of the products. If you do, do not eat them; discard in a sealed container or return to the place of purchase for a … [Read more...]

Farm Rich Recall for E. coli O121 Expands

The recall of Farm Rich Products for possible E. coli O121 contamination has expanded to include ALL products made at the Waycross, Georgia facility. There are 24 people sickened in 15 states as a result of the outbreak linked to these products; seven have been hospitalized, and at least one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Rich Products is not aware of any illnesses associated with the products in this new recall, but are recalling them out of an abundance of caution. The recalled foods have best by dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014. This recall is in addition to products recalled on March 28, 2013. You can see the long list of recalled products, along with Julian dates, product codes, and UPC codes at the FDA web site. The recalled foodservice … [Read more...]

How Many Have Been Sickened by Farm Rich Products?

The latest E. coli outbreak in the United States has been linked to recalled Farm Rich products. According to the CDC, there are currently 24 victims in 15 states. Seven people have been hospitalized with E. coli 0121 infections, and at least one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of the infection that can cause kidney failure. But there are more than likely more than 24 victims of this outbreak. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found that for every E. coli infection reported to the government, there are 20 cases that go unreported. That means there are most likely at least 480 people who have been sickened in this particular outbreak. Public health officials use this number, called a multiplier, to estimate how many people are … [Read more...]

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