Frozen Food Recall: Farm Rich Recall Linked to 27 Confirmed Cases of E. coli
Frozen food recall has lead to a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121.
The Farm Rich Frozen Food Recall was issued for 27 cases of Shinga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) that have been confirmed in 15 states The Frozen Food Recall is in connection with Farm Rich Product Corporation’s Farm Rich frozen foods sold under the Market Day, Schwan’s, and Farm Rich brands. Farm Rich has recalled more than 10 million pounds of frozen foods manufactured at its Waycross, Georgia plant between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that it has confirmed 27 cases of E. coli infection in people living in 15 states since December 30, 2012. Two persons infected with E. coli have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complications that can lead to kidney failure and impairment of the central nervous syndrome. (https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/04/cdc-27-confirmed-cases-in-e-coli-outbreak-linked-to-frozen-food/#.UWKqo5NOPeo ).
Symptoms of E. coli Infection
Symptoms of E. coli infection generally begin 2 to 8 days after consuming contaminated foods and include:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
Typically those infected with E. coli recover after about week. However, some people, generally those under the age of 5 or older adults, may develop HUS. This serious condition generally presents with the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Irritability and fatigue
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding from the mouth and nose
- Decreased urination
- Pale skin
People of any age who suffer these symptoms are urged to seek medical attention immediately. (https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2013/O121-03-13/signs-symptoms.html)
Farm Rich E. Coli Contamination Prompts Massive Recall
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Farm Rich Corp has recalled 10.5 million pounds of “heat treated, not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack items.” These items include frozen pizzas, mozzarella bites, sandwiches, and quesadillas, and more. A full listing of the foods included in the multistate outbreak of E. coli can be found at the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2013/O121-03-13/index.html).
E. coli Infections in 15 States
The most current update from the CDC shows E. coli infections have been confirmed in:
- Washington State (1 case)
- Utah (1 case)
- South Dakota (1 case)
- Texas (3 cases)
- Wisconsin (2 cases)
- Illinois (2 cases)
- Indiana (2 cases)
- Michigan (3 cases)
- Ohio (3 cases)
- Arkansas (1 case)
- Mississippi (1 case)
- Alabama (1 case)
- Virginia (1 case)
- Pennsylvania (1 case)
- New York (4 cases)
Farm Rich Frozen Food Recall
The recall is considered a Class 1 high health risk recall, meaning there is a reasonable probability that the products could cause serious adverse health events, including death. The FSIS recommends that any consumer that has questions about the recall contact that company at “(888) 220-5955 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or visit the company website at www.farmrich.com. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company’s vice president of communications, Dwight Gram, at (716) 878-8749.” (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_025_2013_Expanded/index.asp)
New FDA Laws Aim at Decreasing Contamination Outbreaks
Proposed safety laws created under the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act, could improve company and federal agency response times in contamination events like this Farm Rich E.coli outbreak. Under the proposed guidelines, food contamination outbreaks would be decreased through various contamination measures, including human and animal waste contamination procedures, and irrigation procedures. The new FDA rules are to also include outbreak contingency plans and increased record keeping rules to make outbreak tracing faster and easier. The FDA estimates the new rules could prevent up to two million food contamination illnesses each year.
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