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Frozen meals may cause salmonella outbreak

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Marie Callender’s brand Cheesy Chicken and Rice appears to have caused a salmonella outbreak that so far has sickened 29 people in 14 conditions.

ConAgra foods has recalled the product: 13-ounce packages of “Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice White Meat Chicken and Broccoli over Rice Topped with Rich Cheddar Sauce.”

Packages carry a label with the establishment number “P-45” inside the USDA check oution mark. The products were distributed nationwide. The recall applies only to frozen products and not to those sold in Marie Callender’s restaurants.

In its investigation of an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning, the CDC found that eight patients reported eating this specific product in April and May. The last report of disease was on May 22, 2010.

People who have the product in their freezers should discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Consumers with questions may contact ConAgra at 866-484-9610.

The type of salmonella noticeed in the frozen meals is Salmonella serotype Chester. Salmonella is a ordinary cause of food poisoning. Infections can be life threatening, particularly to babys, the elderly, and others with weak immune systems.

Common symptoms of salmonella food poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours of consuming contaminated food or beverages. Other symptoms may include chills, headdiscomfort, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

The USDA’s food protectedty and check oution Service warns consumers to always use a thermometer to make sure that all components in frozen meals are cooked to a temperature of in any case 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

SOURCES: News release, USDA food protectedty and check oution Service.

News release, ConAgra.

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