Eat frozen meals? Beware of E. coli outbreak

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Apr 6, 2013

Eating E. coli contaminated food can lead to serious illness and death. Those with already weakened immune systems, along with those who are seniors or are very young in age are especially susceptible to the potentially deadly bacteria. However, this does not mean that those falling outside of these demographics should not worry, as the truth is that anyone ingesting E. coli contaminated food can end up requiring medical care.

Recently, 24 cases of E. coli were reported in 15 different states. The outbreak has so far been tied to the Farm Rich brand of frozen foods. This led to the Farm Rich Corporation issuing a recall on a number of its products, including mini quesadillas and mozzarella bites. The food products were made between Nov. 12 and Nov. 19. In total, 196,222 pounds of food were recalled by the company.

Of the 24 reported cases of E. coli, a third of those have led to hospitalization. The majority of the 24 cases also involved people under the age of 22.

In looking at what can happen, the strain of the E. coli was identified in an open package of quesadillas from an ill person's home. The Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0121 (STEC) can lead to serious and life-threatening illness, including abdominal cramps and kidney failure.

For those who ate contaminated food, the symptoms could take up to 10 days to surface. Medical attention should be sought immediately.

The Farm Rich recall only happened after the U.S. Department of Agriculture informed the company that a number of their products may have been contaminated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also made an announcement in order to warn the general public.

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