Rich Products Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., is expanding its recall of various heat-treated, not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack items to more than 10.5 million lbs because they may be contaminated with E. coli O121, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) announced April 4. The expanded recall covers all products produced at the company’s Waycross, Ga., plant with “Best by” dates ranging from Jan. 1, 2013 to Sept. 29, 2014.
FSIS was notified of a multistate investigation of E. coli O121 illnesses on March 19, 2013. Food samples were collected from an ill individual in New York as part of this investigation, and tested by the New York State Dept. of Health Wadsworth Laboratory. At present, the outbreak includes 24 cases in 15 states that led to seven hospitalizations and one case of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. A sample of a Farm Rich frozen chicken mini quesadilla product from a New York case tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O121. Additionally, a sample of leftover Farm Rich mini pepperoni pizza slices product from a Texas case tested positive for the same strain, confirmed by FSIS lab technicians. Ten cases in Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia report consuming Farm Rich products. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners on this investigation.