FOOD SAFETY SCAN: Frozen snack E coli outbreak update, egg-product certification

Apr 5, 2013

Three more sickened in multistate E coli O121 outbreak
Three more patients have been sickened in an Escherichia coli O121 outbreak linked to frozen food snacks, raising the total so far to 27, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in an update. The number of affected states remained at 15, with the new cases reported from Illinois, Michigan, and New York. Eight patients have been hospitalized, two of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal kidney complication. Since the CDC's initial outbreak announcement on Mar 29, testing at a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) lab has turned up the outbreak strain in an individually wrapped slice of Farm Rich frozen pizza from an opened package. However, investigators are still trying to determine what food types and ingredients are sources of the contamination. All 20 patients who were interviewed ate frozen food products before they got sick, and 10 of 16 consumed Farm Rich products.
Apr 5 CDC outbreak update
In addition, Rich Products yesterday updated its expanded recall notice to include the amounts of products included and slight changes in information on the health investigation. It said the expanded recall includes more than 10.5 million pounds of not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack items, according to a notice from the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The new information on the outbreak investigation was reflected in today's CDC update.
Apr 4 FSIS notice

USDA/FDA program launched to certify egg products for foreign buyers
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a program to certify exports of a wide range of US egg products to satisfy foreign countries' safety and quality requirements, the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) announced today. The program is a collaboration with the FDA and will be operated by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Under the program, a company may request an AMS export certificate for its facility and products to facilitate foreign sales. Certification procedures require onsite verification by AMS inspectors. In general the USDA regulates liquid, dried, and frozen egg products, while the FDA regulates precooked eggs and egg products, the CFSAN said in a constituent update.
Apr 5 CFSAN update

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