General Mills Operations, a Wellston, Ohio, establishment, is voluntarily recalling an undetermined amount of frozen meat pizza products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and may be linked to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
The following products are subject to recall:
•10.2-ounce packages of “Totino’s The Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza Pepperoni.”
•10.2-ounce packages of “Totino’s The Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Classic Pepperoni.”
•10.2-ounce packages of “Totino’s The Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Pepperoni Trio.”
•10.7-ounce packages of “Totino’s The Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Combination Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza.”
•10.5-ounce packages of “Totino’s The Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Three Meat Sausage, Canadian Style Bacon & Pepperoni Pizza.”
•10.9-ounce packages of “Totino’s The Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Supreme Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza with Green Peppers & Onions.”
•6.8-ounce packages of “JENO’S CRISP `N TASTY PIZZA, PEPPERONI.”
•7.0-ounce packages of “JENO’S CRISP `N TASTY PIZZA, COMBINATION SAUSAGE AND PEPPERONI PIZZA.”
•7.2-ounce packages of “JENO’S CRISP `N TASTY PIZZA, SUPREME SAUSAGE AND PEPPERONI WITH GREEN PEPPERS AND ONION PIZZA.”
Each package also bears the establishment number “EST. 7750” inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as a “best if used by” date on or before “02 APR 08 WS.” The company applies the “best if used by date” on the package based on a 155-day shelf life, however consumers are urged to look in their freezers for similar frozen pizza products and discard them if found. The frozen meat pizza products subject to recall were produced on or before Oct. 30 and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide. The recall affects approximately 414,000 cases of pizza products currently in stores and all similar pizza products in consumers’ freezers. It includes eight SKUs (stock keeping units or UPC codes) of Totino’s brand frozen pizza and three SKUs of Jeno’s brand frozen pizza with pepperoni topping, or incorporating pepperoni in combination with other toppings.
The potential problem was uncovered by state and federal authorities investigating 21 occurrences of E. coli-related illnesses in 10 states. Approximately half of the individuals who became ill were hospitalized as a result. The earliest case reported to state authorities occurred on July 20, and the latest case reported occurred on Oct. 10. Nine of the 21 people reported having eaten Totino’s or Jeno’s pizza with pepperoni topping at some point prior to becoming ill. Since July 1 of this year, Totino’s and Jeno’s have distributed more than 120 million pizzas nationwide.
The problem was discovered following an investigation carried out by the Tennessee Department of Health in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into a multi-state cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses that may be linked to this product. Illnesses occurred in Illinois (1), Kentucky (3), Missouri (2), New York (2), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (8), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates ranged between July 20 and Oct. 10.