(Detroit Free Press) -- According to the state health department, two Michigan residents are among the 24 nationwide who have been sickened in the past two weeks by a strain of E.coli associated with recalled frozen foods.
The Michigan Department of Community Health said the two people were infected with E. Coli O121, which has been found in Farm Rich food products, manufactured by Rich Products Corporation in Buffalo, NY. The company has recalled almost 200,000 pounds of food, starting on March 28 and some of the products recalled include chicken quesadillas and mozzarella bites. A list that is being updated is at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
While the ages, gender and location of the two Michigan residents are not immediately available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 75% of the people infected are younger than 21, and that one-third have had to be hospitalized as a result.
E.coli O121 is similar to other forms of E.coli that cause diarrhea, cramps and sometimes fever. Illness lasts for about a week. The strain releases a toxin that kills blood vessel cells, leading to blood loss that is sometimes seen in people reporting diarrhea. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who become infected with E.coli O121, especially those under age 5 and the elderly are at risk for a type of kidney failure that starts when symptoms subside.
MDCH officials said in a statement that people who are suffering from bloody diarrhea should visit their doctors, and check their freezers for recalled Farm Rich products. The products are sold at major market chains and more than 47 stores all over Michigan are believed to be involved in the recall. The list is here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov
The 22 other people who have tested positive in this outbreak are located in 14 other states, including Ohio, New York and Texas. The USDA was notified of the outbreak on March 19.