Rich Products recalls more than 10.5 million lbs of products

by Staff
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Rich Products Corp. is recalling more than 10.5 million lbs of products produced at its Waycross, Ga., facility due to possible contamination with E. coli O121.

The products being recalled have “Best Buy” dates ranging from Jan. 1, 2013, to Sept. 29, 2014, including Farm Rich Mini Quesadillas, Farm Rich Mini Pizza Slices, Farm Rich Philly Cheese Steaks, Farm Rich Mozzarella Bites and Market Day Mozzarella Bites.

The company first announced the recall on March 28 to just include the specific products listed above, but the company then expanded the recall on April 4 to include all products produced at the Waycross facility. The Center for Disease Control has reported 24 cases of E. coli O121 in 15 states.

“When it became apparent to us that, despite the expertise of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, 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,” said Bill Gisel, president and chief executive officer of Rich Products.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S.D.A. classified this as a Class I Recall, meaning it is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability the use of the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. The F.S.I.S. was first notified of a multi-state investigation into E. coli O121 illness on March 19, and a sample Farm Rich frozen chicken mini quesadilla from New York tested positive for the contaminate. A Farm Rich mini pepperoni pizza slice from Texas also tested positive for the same strain. Other cases in multiple states reported eating Farm Rich products.

Symptoms of E. coli O121 generally include mild to severe gastrointestinal distress. Most adults completely recover in 5 to 10 days, but some, especially children and the elderly, can develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which may cause kidney failure.
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