Frozen food recall over E. coli expands to more Farm Rich products

The Farm Rich foods website offered information on March 29, 2013 on the voluntary recall of a range of products over fears of possible E. coli contamination.

Rich Products Corporation is recalling more of its frozen foods due to possible E. coli contamination.

The expanded recall, announced April 4, now includes Farm Rich and Market Day products including frozen pizza products, mozzarella bites, cheese steaks, quesadillas and other sandwiches. The company based in Buffalo, N.Y., said these products were all produced at a plant in Waycross, Ga., with "Best By" dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014.

The company had announced a smaller product recall last week.

A complete list of product numbers, names, best by dates and UPC codes can be found on the Food and Drug Administration's website.

The recall was initiated in March because of a 15-state E. coli outbreak that has sickened 24 people, about 80 percent of whom are 21 and younger. The strain of E. coli, called Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) causes diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People have been sickened an average of three to four days after eating contaminated products , and most recover in about a week.

However, some have gotten more serious illness, which results in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The complication is most common in children younger than 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems such as those undergoing chemotherapy. Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, unexplained bruising or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination. People with these symptoms should get medical help immediately, the CDC said.

Rich Products said it expanded its March 28 recall after it couldn't pinpoint the source of the contamination.

"When it became apparent to us that, despite the expertise of the USDA, the FDA, the scientific community and our own experts, identification of a specific cause was not going to be a simple or short process, we decided to act proactively to expand the recall," Bill Gisel, Rich's president and CEO, said in a statement.

The company pointed out the recall only pertains to foods produced at the Ga. Facility, and other products made at other facilities such as onion rings, stuffed pretzel bites and french toast sticks are not affected.

Customers with questions can contact the company 24 hours a day at 1-888-220-5955.