The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is urging the public to take precautions to prevent possible infection with E. coli O121 linked to Farm Rich brand frozen food products.
On March 28, Rich Products Corporation recalled more than 196,000 pounds of Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas and several other frozen mini meals and snack items due to possible contamination with E. coli 0121, according to a DPH press release.
On April 4, the Rich Products Corporation expanded its recall to include all products produced at its Waycross, Ga., plant between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013. The expanded recall includes the Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan's brand frozen food products with "Best By" dates ranging from Jan. 1, 2013 to Sept. 29, 2014.
Retailers in Delaware known to have received recalled products include BJ's, Kroger and Walmart stores, DPH said in a press release.
Consumers are urged to check their freezers for Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan's brand frozen food products and dispose of any remaining product. These products should not be consumed. Persons who think they might have become ill from eating recalled frozen food products should contact their healthcare providers.
As of April 5, 2013, a total of 27 people nationwide have been infected with the outbreak strain from 15 states. At this time, no cases have been reported in Delaware.
Most people infected with E. coli 0121 and similar bacteria develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps. In some people, particularly children under age 5, the infection can cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This is a serious disease in which red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. It can be fatal.
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company's consumer line at 1-888-220-5955 or visit the company website at http://farmrich.com/productsafety. Additional information about the multi-state outbreak can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2013/O121-03-13/index.html.
Frequently asked questions on E. Coli are at http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/ecolifaq.pdf