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Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Banquet and Store Brand Frozen Pot Pies
Date:10/10/2007

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health today is emphasizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) advisory for consumers not to eat Banquet brand and store brand frozen, not-ready-to-eat pot pie products due to possible Salmonella contamination.

"Federal officials have already shared information about the possible contamination, but we want to ensure Pennsylvanians are taking the appropriate measures to protect their health since we are aware of 13 related cases in our state," said state Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson. "We urge anyone who has purchased these products to discard them."

All Banquet and store brand pot pie products related to this announcement will have the plant code "P9" on the side of the package. They were manufactured at a ConAgra Foods facility in Missouri, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The frozen pot pies are sold by grocery stores and other retailers nationwide.

Since the beginning of 2007, at least 139 illnesses caused by a strain of Salmonella with a specific "DNA fingerprint" pattern have been identified throughout the United States, prompting a multi-state disease investigation. No deaths have been reported.

A total of 13 of the investigated cases are in Pennsylvania. The average age of the ill individuals in Pennsylvania is 21 years, with the youngest five months and the oldest 86 years; five are less than three years old. Four of these individuals were hospitalized, but all have recovered. The cases are located in the following counties: Berks (2), Bucks, Cambria, Delaware (2), Indiana, Jefferson, Lancaster, Northampton, Philadelphia (2) and Schuylkill.

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping and vomiting. Symptoms usually occur in 24 to 72 hours, and patients typically recover in five to seven days. Some individuals, particularly infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at increased risk for severe illness. Approximately 2,000 cases of Salmonella are reported each year in Pennsylvania.

Patients often do not require treatment unless they become severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines. Persons with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids. Antibiotics are not usually necessary unless the infection spreads from the intestines.

Salmonella in food can be killed by thoroughly cooking the food according to instructions on the food package and checking to ensure the food has reached a temperature (165F) that will kill bacteria. Salmonella can survive if the food is undercooked or unevenly cooked.

Individuals who may have eaten Banquet or store brand frozen, not-ready-to-eat pot pie but have not become ill do not need to take any special action. Individuals who are currently ill with diarrhea and fever should see their health care provider and tell him or her if they consumed pot pies within a week before they became ill.

For more information on Salmonella, visit http://www.health.state.pa.us or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

CONTACT: Stacy Kriedeman

(717) 787-1783


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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