The ongoing Rich Products Corp. recall, which has been expanded to include more than 10 million pounds of frozen food after being linked to a 15-state E. coli O121 outbreak may have impacted schools. According to an Associated Press report on Monday, the New York-based company estimates that as many as 3 million pounds of the recalled product could be in the marketplace and 300,000 pounds may have ben served in school lunches.
Consumers and parents should check their freezers for recalled products and keep an eye out for symptoms, like bloody diarrhea, in children who may have been served contaminated food. A company spokesman told the wire that the main products sent to schools were pizza dippers and pepperoni pizzatas.
There are no known illnesses linked to the products thought to have been served in schools, but officials in some districts are being proactive about notifying parents. According to a Take Part report, Harford County schools in Maryland sent a letter to parents with information and a list of symptoms to look for.
As of the last update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 people in 15 states have been reported to be sickened with the same strain of E. coli O121. More than a third of those reported to be sick have been hospitalized and 81 percent of patients are under the age of 21. Two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.
Te recalled products have “Best By” dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014.