Recalled frozen food may have ended up in US schools

The just-cook-it gang strikes again, saying school foods may be safer than those purchased by individuals because they are more likely to be well cooked, all the while ignoring the enhanced risk of cross-contamination in these larger schools.

Mary Clare Jalonick of the Associated Press writes that hundreds of thousands of pounds of frozen food recalled amid an E. coli O121 outbreak young.guns.regulatorsthat may have been served in schools, according to the company that manufactured the items.

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Rich Products Corp. has over the past two weeks recalled 10 million pounds of frozen food items after 27 E. coli illnesses in 15 states were linked to their foods. Of that, the company estimates that about 3 million pounds may still be in the marketplace and approximately 300,000 pounds may have ended up in school lunchrooms, a company spokesman said.

Dwight Gram of Rich Products said the main items shipped to schools were labeled as pizza dippers and pepperoni pizzatas.

E. coli infection can cause mild diarrhea or more

Health officials have so far directly linked the outbreak strain to two different Farm Rich brand products — frozen mini pizza slices and frozen chicken quesadillas. Samples of the strain of E. coli were collected from those products in the Texas and New York homes of two people who became ill.

It’s not clear yet whether any illnesses are linked to foods shipped to the schools.

Rich Products two weeks ago announced a voluntary recall of certain Farm Rich and Market Day brand products because of the possible E. coli contamination. Last week, the company expanded that recall to include everything made at its Waycross, Ga. plant — a total of 10 million pounds of food. Products manufactured at other plants weren’t affected.

At least one school district has already warned parents that food served in its cafeterias was recalled because of possible E. coli contamination.

A spokeswoman for Harford County, Md. schools said last week that Rich Products had notified the district that it had recalled its pepperoni pizzatas. Some of the food had already been served in cafeterias.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports a total of 27 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from 15 states;

• 81% of ill persons are 21 years of age or younger;

• 35% of ill persons have been hospitalized;

• two ill people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

24 sick; just cook it is bad advice; FDA orders massive recall

The just-cook-it company has just been told to recall all of its frozen food after an E. coli O121 outbreak linked to the New York plant has sickened at least 24 people.

JoNel Aleccia at NBC News reports that Rich Products Corp. of Buffalo, N.Y., is pulling pepperoni pizzas, mozzarella bites, Philly Farm-Rich-Pizza-Slices-recall-jpgcheese steaks and a host of other products with best buy dates from Jan. 1, 2013 through Sept. 29, 2014.

Seven people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, many more people may have been sickened by the products but not yet know it because of complexities involved in identifying  E. coli O121, a strain that can be just as dangerous as the better-known E. coli O157:H7 frequently tied to outbreaks caused by hamburger.

The New York state Department of Health 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, the CDC said.

24 sick: WTF is E. coli O121 doing in frozen pizza thingies?

USDA once again buries the important stuff by noting half-way through a press release that 24 people are sick with E. coli O121 from some crap frozen pizza thingies made by Rich Products in Buffalo, NY.

A bunch of people are sick with a rare and dangerous form of E. coli. How hard can this be? (you fill in the next line, that’s about what USDA is worth).