Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

April 9, 2013

E. coli concern spreads

Schools may have received suspect meat from Waycross plant

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of thousands of pounds of frozen food recalled amid an E. coli scare involving a plant in Waycross may have been served in schools, according to the company that manufactured the items.

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Rich Products Corp. has over the past two weeks recalled 10 million pounds of frozen food items after 27 E. coli illnesses in 15 states were linked to their foods. Of that, the company estimates that about 3 million pounds may still be in the marketplace and approximately 300,000 pounds may have ended up in school lunchrooms, a company spokesman said.

Dwight Gram of Rich Products said the main items shipped to schools were labeled as pizza dippers and pepperoni pizzatas.

E. coli infection can cause mild diarrhea or more severe complications, including kidney damage. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 81 percent of the people who fell ill were under the age of 21. Nine people were hospitalized and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure that can have lasting effects.

The strain of E. coli linked to the Farm Rich brand products is rare, and some laboratories still can’t identify it. Because of that, the CDC said, many illnesses may not have been identified.

Health officials have so far directly linked the outbreak strain to two different Farm Rich brand products — frozen mini pizza slices and frozen chicken quesadillas. Samples of the strain of E. coli were collected from those products in the Texas and New York homes of two people who became ill.

It’s not clear yet whether any illnesses are linked to foods shipped to the schools.

Rich Products two weeks ago announced a voluntary recall of certain Farm Rich and Market Day brand products because of the possible E. coli contamination. Last week, the company expanded that recall to include everything made at its Waycross plant — a total of 10 million pounds of food. Products manufactured at other plants weren’t affected.

At least one school district has already warned parents that food served in its cafeterias was recalled because of possible E. coli contamination.

A spokeswoman for Harford County, Md. schools said last week that Rich Products had notified the district that it had recalled its pepperoni pizzatas. Some of the food had already been served in cafeterias.

Gram, the spokesman for Rich Products, said school foods may be safer than those purchased by individuals because they are more likely to be well cooked. Cooking items thoroughly can kill E. coli.

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Dollar Tree-Family Do_Rich copy.jpg Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Rich copy.jpg Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

    Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.
    The failure to reach even a brief humanitarian lull in the fighting illustrated the difficulties in securing a more permanent truce as the sides remain far apart on their terms.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP81072904918 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • United States-Libya_Rich.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP9607270692 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • No ticket for Shrek over loud musical, chief says

    A musical being performed in a New Hampshire park has drawn some noise complaints, but the deputy police chief says he’s “not giving Shrek a ticket.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona Execution Dru_Rich copy.jpg Arizona’s McCain: Execution was torture

    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane_Rich copy.jpg US: Russia firing into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
    Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results