Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pizza with everything, including E. coli

I didn't catch any new Chinese lead toys reported today, but back here in the good ol' US of A, you may want to be ware of E. coli pizza.
General Mills on Thursday recalled about 5 million frozen pizzas sold nationwide under the Totino's and Jeno's labels because of possible E. coli contamination.

Apparently, their pepperoni (which came from an unnamed 3rd party supplier) was contaminated.

Here's the Press Release from General Mill's website:
Totino’s and Jeno’s Frozen Pizzas Recalled Due to Possible E. coli Contamination

MINNEAPOLIS — Totino’s and Jeno’s today announced a voluntary recall of frozen pizzas with pepperoni toppings because of possible contamination of the pepperoni topping with E. coli O157:H7.

The recall affects approximately 414,000 cases of pizza products currently in stores and all similar pizza products in consumers’ freezers. It includes eight SKUs (stock keeping units or UPC codes) of Totino’s brand frozen pizza and three SKUs of Jeno’s brand frozen pizza with pepperoni topping, or incorporating pepperoni in combination with other toppings.

The specific products in the recall include:
BrandProductSKU number
Totino'sParty Supreme42800-10700
Totino'sThree Meat42800-10800
Totino'sPepperoni 42800-11400
Totino'sPepperoni 42800-92114
Totino'sClassic Pepperoni 42800-11402
Totino'sPepperoni Trio 42800-72157
Totino'sParty Combo 42800-11600
Totino'sCombo 42800-92116
Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Supreme 35300-00561
Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Pepperoni35300-00572
Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Combo 35300-00576

The frozen pizza products were produced in the company’s Wellston, Ohio, plant and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

The potential problem was uncovered by state and federal authorities investigating 21 occurrences of E. coli-related illnesses in 10 states. Approximately half of the individuals who became ill were hospitalized as a result. The earliest case reported to state authorities occurred on July 20, and the latest case reported occurred on Oct. 10. Nine of the 21 people reported having eaten Totino’s or Jeno’s pizza with pepperoni topping at some point prior to becoming ill. Since July 1 of this year, Totino’s and Jeno’s have distributed more than 120 million pizzas nationwide.

Totino’s and Jeno’s, working in cooperation with federal and state food safety authorities, launched an investigation immediately upon learning of the potential problem.

In response, General Mills, the parent company of Totino’s and Jeno’s, initiated a voluntary Class I recall as a precaution. The investigation is ongoing, and the company continues to cooperate fully with all involved state and federal authorities.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O157:H7 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.

Consumers can contact Totino’s / Jeno’s for product replacement by clipping the UPC (bar code) symbol from each pizza box and sending their UPC's, along with their name and address to:

Totino's / Jeno’s
P.O. Box 200 - Pizza
Minneapolis, MN 55440-0200

The product itself should be thrown away. Consumers with additional questions about the relall should contact the company at (800) 949-9055.

For Further Information, Contact:

Media - Tom Forsythe, 763-764-6364

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