The US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has been investigating an outbreak of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O121, which has affected at least 27 people across 15 states.
The outbreak was first recognised in late March, but the first case reported becoming ill on 30 December last year. To date, eight people have required hospital treatment and two have developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS).
Epidemiological investigation identified consumption of Farm Rich Brand frozen food products as a likely source of infection. The outbreak strain of E. coli O121 has since been isolated from samples of Farm Rich brand frozen mini pizza slices and frozen chicken quesadillas. On 4 April, manufacturer Rich Products Corporation recalled all Farm Rich, Market Day and Schwan’s brand frozen foods products made at its Waycross, Georgia plant between 1 July 2011 and 29 March 2013.
The USDA Food safety and Inspection Service and the FDA are now investigating the source of product contamination at the Rich Products plant. Click here for more information.