(Image source: International Science Times)
BY LOGAN TITTLE
Food company Rich Products Corp. is reportedly recalling all of its frozen snack foods produced
at its plant in Georgia.
The company distributes more than 2,000 products across 112 countries. Twenty-three manufacturing
facilities and the companys world headquarters are in the U.S.
The food maker announced a voluntary recall back in March after more than 20 people fell
ill with E. coli infections and is now expanding its recall list.
According to Food Poison Journal, this second wave of recalls came after a person in New
York became sick from eating frozen chicken quesadillas that later tested positive for
the outbreak strain of E. coli O121. A separate incident happened in Texas when a Farm Rich
pepperoni pizza also tested positive for the same strain.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of Friday the outbreak has reached
27 people in 15 states, with about one third of those infected requiring hospitalization
and one suffering kidney failure.
The recent outbreak has reportedly prompted NPR to investigate the idea that freezing
food kills off germs such as E. coli and other dangerous pathogens. As you could probably
guess, it does not.
NPR explains freezing food can slow down the bacteria that causes food to spoil, but thats
pretty much it.
A food safety researcher at the University of California says, It actually does a
pretty good job of preserving many of the pathogens and microbes that will cause problems
for later if thawed out.
A food science professor at Cornell University also found frozen food could harbor E. coli.
But before you start throwing out your frozen meals, we have a little science lesson that
might be able to spare your groceries.
In theory, bacteria has the ability to grow in all temperatures from waters freezing
point to around your bodys average temperature. Temperatures below waters freezing point
as we mentioned earlier dont kill the bacteria, only stop it from growing.
But if bacteria is exposed to much hotter temperatures say upwards of 140 deg F.
it can be killed. (via ILRI.ORG)
One thing to note, though, is not all germs require the same temperature. Some microbes
may require a quick pop in the microwave or a long roast in the oven. For anyone who may
have a contaminated product, the company urges you to call its helpline.