Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

ConAgra Contacted About Salmonella Pot Pies

By Josh Funk, Omaha AP Business Writer, posted on Yahoo News a few moments ago:

Health Officials Call ConAgra About Possible Pot Pie Problems

Several state health departments have told ConAgra Foods Inc. its Banquet pot pies may be linked to cases of salmonella, but the company said the pies are safe if they’re cooked properly.  ConAgra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs said Tuesday she didn’t know how many health departments had contacted the company, which is working with officials to determine whether any additional precautions are necessary. No recall is being planned, she said.  Dave Daigle with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the agency is tracking a large salmonella outbreak with cases in several states.  More details of the salmonella outbreak, including the number of cases reported and states involved, were expected to be released later Tuesday.  Salmonella sickens about 40,000 people a year in the U.S. and kills about 600. It can cause diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting. Most cases of salmonella poisoning are caused by undercooked eggs and chicken.  Childs said ConAgra is confident in the safety of its chicken and turkey pot pies when all the cooking instructions on the package are followed, especially when the pies are cooked in a microwave.  “Consumers should always read the directions to make sure they are cooking the product properly,” Childs said.  Pot pies need to be cooked longer in microwaves that have less power, Childs said. A good sign that the pot pie is done is when steam rises out of it.  Childs said the cooking will kill any common pathogens routinely found in uncooked products that contain poultry.

So, no recall, REALLY?

  • Phyllis Entis

    Microwave cooking is NOT a reliable way to kill pathogenic bacteria. Heating can be uneven, especially in a food that cannot be stirred, producing cold spots that may still contain live bacteria. Covered pies containing solid lumps of poultry pose a special risk, especially if frozen pies are placed directly into the microwave for cooking. Steam can rise out of a pie that still has cold spots!

  • I thought that the ingredients in those pot pies were already cooked. I hate waiting and sometimes I’ll just keep eating if I find a frozen spot. I guess I will have to be more careful from now on.