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Multistate outbreak of E. coli linked to Farm Rich brand frozen food

Twenty four people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 have been reported from 15 states.

  • Farm_rich_chicken_and_cheese_mini_quesadilla_slices78 percent are 21 years of age or younger.
  • 33 percent have been hospitalized. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health officials are interviewing those infected to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before illness.

The information available indicates that eating Farm Rich brand frozen food products is one likely source of infection for the ill people in this outbreak, the CDC said.

Testing conducted by the New York State Department of Health identified the outbreak strain of STEC O121 in an open package of Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas from an ill person’s home.

On March 28, Rich Products Corporation recalled about 196,000 pounds of Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas and several other frozen mini meals and snack items because they might be contaminated with E. coli O121. The recall is nationwide.

Consumers should check their freezers for recalled Farm Rich brand frozen food products. They shouldn’t eat the recalled frozen food products and should dispose of any remaining products, the CDC advises.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company's consumer line at 888-220-5955 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or visit the company website at

Farm Rich said on its website it will provide consumers with a refund or replacement.

The 24 infected people live in these states. Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are also currently conducting investigations to determine the source of infections in this outbreak.

Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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