Thursday, March 28, 2013

15-State E. coli Outbreak Triggers Recall

Rich Products Corporation (Buffalo, NY) has recalled more than 196,000 pounds of frozen chicken quesadilla and various other heat-treated, not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack items in the wake of an outbreak of 24 confirmed cases of E. coli O121 illnesses in 15 US states.

Eight of the outbreak victims - residents of Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia - reported consuming Farm Rich brand products. The New York Department of Health found the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 in a sample of Farm Rich frozen chicken mini quesadilla product obtained from a victim in that state. USDA is working with state and federal public health agencies - including FDA and CDC - on this outbreak investigation. CDC has not yet released a complete list of the 15 states.

E. coli O121 is one of six non-O157 Shiga toxin producing E. coli serogroups that is recognized by the USDA as an adulterant in certain raw beef products.

The manufacturer has recalled the following products in cooperation with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (items 1-4) and FDA (items 5-7):
  1. Farm Rich mini pizza slices with cheese pepperoni and sauce in pizza dough (7.2-oz cartons; UPC 041322376909; Best by date May 15 or May 16, 2014)
  2. Farm Rich mini pizza slices with cheese pepperoni and sauce in pizza dough (22-oz cartons; UPC 041322356437 Best by date May 15 or May 16, 2014)
  3. Farm Rich mini quesadillas with cheese, grilled white meat chicken in a crispy crust (18-oz bags; UPC 041322356352; Best by date of May 14, 2014)
  4. Farm Rich philly cheese steaks with cheese, beef & onions in a crispy crust (21-oz bags; UPC 041322356345; Best by date May 13, 2014)
  5. Farm Rich mozzarella bites in a pizzeria style crust (22-oz cartons; UPC 041322374431; Best by date of May 19, 2014)
  6. Farm Rich mozzarella bites in a pizzeria style crust (7-oz cartons; UPC 041322376916; Best by date of May 19, 2014)
  7. Market Day Mozzarella Bites (22-oz bags; UPC 041322804358; Best by date of May 12, 2014)
The recalled products were manufactured between November 12, 2012 and November 19, 2012 and supplied to Walmart for nationwide distribution. Consumers who may have purchased any of the recalled products should check their freezers and discard these items, or return them to Walmart.

According to USDA, infection with E. coli O121 can result in dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2-8 days (3-4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called HUS, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. Symptoms of HUS may include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, decreased urination, and swelling. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Recalls and Alerts: March 28, 2013

Here is today's list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

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United States
  • Allergy Alert: The Gift Shop at Buffalo Trace Distillery recalls Bourbon Flavored Caramel Sauce, Bourbon Flavored Fudge Sauce, Marinade for Meat, Barbeque Sauce and Hot Barbeque Sauce due to undeclared milk, soy, wheat, and/or anchovy.
  • Outbreak Alert: The Hawaii Department of Health is investigating nine cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness, including three adults and six children. Three of the children have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Eight of the victims are residents of Oahu; the ninth is a Canadian visitor to the state.
  • Allergy Alert: La Charcutière (Laval, QC) recalls la Pizza Romarin, due to undeclared milk protein.
  • Food Safety Recall: Boucherie Laurentienne ltée (Wentworth-Nord, QC) together with William J Walter and S. Bourassa retailers in various locations, recalls a number of sausage and other pork products, because the products were not manufactured in a manner that ensures microbiological safety.
  • Allergy Alert (Ireland): Gallagher's Bakery warns that Gallagher’s Bakery Lo-GI Farmhouse Loaf contains undeclared milk powder and whey powder.
  • Food Safety Recall (Italy): Organic Oils Italia Srl (Perugia) recalls Olio di lino biologico "crudigno" / "Crudigno" Organic Linseed Oil due to a chemical hazard.
  • Medical Device Safety Recall (France): LifeScan recalls OneTouch Verio IQ and OneTouch Verio Pro blood glucose meters, because the meters produce erroneous readings at extremely elevated blood glucose levels.
Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Food Safety Alert (China): Channelnewsasia reports that the Chinese partner of Hero Group, a major Swiss baby formula manufacturer, has been accused of adulterating Hero's production and a senior official has been detained. According to state media, the Xile Lier company had been mixing out-of-date formula with supplies imported under its partnership agreement with Hero.
Australia and New Zealand
  • Outbreak Alert (NSW, Australia): NSW Health is urging people who have had diarrhoea not to swim in pools until at least two weeks after they have fully recovered following an increase in cryptosporidiosis in NSW. There have been 484 cases of cryptosporidiosis reported to NSW Health to date this year.
Some supermarket chains post recall notices on their web sites for the convenience of customers. To see whether a recalled food was carried by your favorite supermarket, follow the live link to the supermarket's recall website.