The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) infections that may be linked to Farm Rich brand frozen food products. A total of 24 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O121 have been reported from 15 states. Among persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from Dec. 30, 2012, to March 9, 2013. Ill persons range in age from 2 to 75 years, with a median age of 17. Among 21 persons with available information, seven (33%) reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies indicate that Farm Rich brand frozen food products are one likely source of this outbreak of STEC O121 infections. The New York State Dept. of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratory, identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 in an opened package of Farm Rich brand frozen mini chicken and cheese quesadillas from an ill person’s home.
On March 28, Rich Products Corp. recalled approximately 196,222 lbs of frozen chicken quesadilla and various other heat treated, not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack items.
The following products are subject to the recall:
- 7.2-oz cartons of Farm Rich mini pizza slices with cheese pepperoni and sauce in pizza dough, UPC code 041322376909 with a best by date of May 15 or May 16, 2014.
- 22-oz cartons of Farm Rich mini pizza slices with cheese pepperoni and sauce in pizza dough, UPC code 041322356437 with a best by date of May 15 or May 16, 2014.
- 18-oz bags of Farm Rich mini quesadillas with cheese, grilled white meat chicken in a crispy crust, UPC code 041322356352 with a best by date of May 14, 2014.
- 21-oz bags of Farm Rich Philly cheese steaks with cheese, beef, and onions in a crispy crust, UPC code 041322356345 with a best by date of May 13, 2014.
- 22-oz cartons of Farm Rich mozzarella bites in a pizzeria style crust, UPC code 041322374431 with a best by date of May 19, 2014.
- 7-oz cartons of Farm Rich mozzarella bites in a pizzeria style crust, UPC code 041322376916 with a best by date of May 19, 2014.
- 22-oz bags of Market Day mozzarella bites, UPC code 041322804358 with a best by date of May 12, 2014.
The products subject to recall were produced Nov. 12–Nov. 19, 2012, and then distributed for retail sale nationwide.
CDC press release