In a follow-up to a story two weeks ago, the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121), which has been linked to Farm Rich brand frozen food products, has increased by three cases, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update May 10.
The federal health agency reports new cases of the serious bacterial infection from Missouri (1) and Ohio (2) since the last update.
Missouri is the 19th state with cases reported in this outbreak.
Of the 35 people that have been sickened by this strain of E. coli in this outbreak, nine required hospitalization for their illness.
Two ill people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.
Eight out of 10 people affected by the outbreak are 21 years of age or younger.
Read related news at The Global Dispatch
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.
According to the CDC, the type of bacteria responsible for this outbreak is among those referred to as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli or STEC. Some types of STEC frequently cause severe disease, including bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure.
STEC bacteria are divided into serogroups (e.g., O157 or O121). E. coli O157 is the STEC serogroup found most commonly in U.S. patients. Other E. coli serogroups in the STEC group, including O121, are sometimes called “non-O157 STECs.”
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