A total of 35 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from 19 states.
82% of ill persons are 21 years of age or younger.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state public health officials are interviewing ill persons to obtain information regarding foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before illness.
Information available to date indicates that consumption of Farm Rich brand frozen food products is one likely source of infection for the ill persons in this outbreak.
The outbreak strain of STEC O121 has been identified in two different Farm Rich brand frozen products collected from the homes of two ill persons in Texas and New York.
On April 4, 2013, Rich Products Corporation expanded its recall to include all Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan’s brand frozen food products produced at its Waycross, Georgia plant between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013 due to possible contamination with E. coli O121.
The recalled products had “Best By” dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014.
Consumers should check their freezers for recalled frozen products and not eat them.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently conducting investigations to determine the source of product contamination.