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Rich Products expands recall amid E. Coli outbreak

April 04, 2013|By Monte Morin

Following an outbreak of E. coli cases in 15 states, Rich Products has expanded its recall to include all food products made at its Waycross, Ga., plant, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Buffalo, N.Y., company recalled almost 200,000 pounds of frozen chicken quesadillas and other frozen meals on March 28 after local health officials linked the outbreak to a package of quesadillas.

"Testing conducted by the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratory, identified the outbreak strain of STEC O121 in an open package of Farm Rich brand frozen quesadillas from an ill person's home," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The expanded recall includes all products produced at the Waycross plant with "Best by" dates that range from Jan. 1, 2013, to Sept. 29, 2014, according to the FDA. 

The CDC has reported 24 cases of E. coli 0121 in 15 states. The majority of cases involve people 21 or younger and a third of them have been hospitalized. At least one person developed kidney failure, according to the CDC. No deaths have been reported.

"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 CDC said.

Symptoms of the illness include mild to severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Blood is often seen in the stool. Usually little or no fever is present. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within 5-10 days, young children and the elderly face a greater risk of kidney damage and possible death, according to the FDA.

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