A total of 27 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from 15 states. 81% of ill persons are 21 years of age or younger. 35% of ill persons have been hospitalized. Two ill people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and 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 outbreak strain of STEC O121 has been identified in two different Farm Rich brand frozen products collected from the homes of two ill persons.
- The Outbreaks Section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) Eastern Laboratory identified the outbreak strain from individually wrapped Farm Rich brand frozen mini pizza slices from an opened package collected from an ill person’s home in Texas.
- The New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratory, identified the outbreak strain from an opened package of Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas from an ill person’s home.
On April 4, 2013, Rich Products Corporation expanded its recall to include all Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan’s brand frozen food products produced at its Waycross, Georgia plant between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013 due to possible contamination with E. coli O121. The recalled products had “Best By” dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014. Total amount of product recalled to date is 10,500,000 pounds.