Farm Rich Brand Frozen Pizza, Quesadilla & Mozzarella Stick E. coli OutbreakOn March 28, 2013, Rich Products Corporation recalled multiple Farm Rich frozen snack food products--frozen mini pizza slices, frozen mini quesdillas and frozen philly cheese steaks due to potential E. coli contamination. The products were recalled after multiple states reported victims of an E. coli O121 outbreak had eaten the frozen snack products sold at various retail outlets. A New York State public health lab isolated E. coli O121 from a frozen quesadilla leftover in a person's home.
Farm Rich mozzarella bites were also recalled for potential E. coli contamination, although those products had not been associated with illness at the time they were recalled.
The Farm Rich frozen foods recall was expanded to include over 10 million products on April 4, 2013. All Farm Rich and Market Day products made by Rich Products at its Waycross, Georgia plant with best-by dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014 were included in the recall for potential E. coli O121 contamination.
By May 10, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 35 E. coli O121 cases in 19 states that were the result of the consumption of Farm Rich frozen mini meals and snack foods. At least 2 people had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome and public health officials said approximately 31% of E. coli outbreak victims had been hospitalized.
States where E. coli O121 infections associated with the frozen snack foods were reported included: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New York (4), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2).
E. coli Outbreak Dates Back to December, 2012
The CDC stated that people began falling ill with E. coli infections after eating the Farm Rich frozen snack products in December of 2012. Because clinical laboratories do not always test for E. coli O121, more cases may have gone undiagnosed and unreported.