On Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 24 cases of E. coli O121 have been reported in 15 states, including Pennsylvania, with one case linked to the Farm Rich brand of frozen foods. Although no deaths have occurred, one third of the cases have required hospitalization.
According to an article on CNN.com, illnesses related to this particular strain have been reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Of those who are sick, 78% are under the age of 22.
The New York State Department of Health was able to identify the strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC) in an open package of frozen chicken quesadillas that were in an ill person’s home. As a result, Rich Products Corporation has recalled over 196,000 pounds of Farm Rich Mini Quesadillas, Philly Cheese Steaks, Mini Pizza Slices and Mozzarella Bites produced from November 12-19, 2012.
According to the article, some types of STEC can cause severe disease, including bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and kidney failure. Any affected products should be discarded and not returned to the grocery store. Farm Rich will issue a refund or replacement.