Re: ConAgra recalls all frozen pot pies
ConAgra Foods (CAG) is recalling all frozen pot pies made in the past two years amid a widening salmonella illness outbreak, it said Thursday night.
That includes beef, chicken and turkey pot pies sold under the Banquet, Albertsons, Hill Country Fare, Food Lion, Great Value, Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family brands.
No figures for the volume of food that represented were available.
The pot pies, made at ConAgra's Marshall, Mo., plant, have been linked to an eight-month outbreak believed responsible for at least 165 cases of salmonellosis in 31 states as of Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 20 people have been hospitalized as part of the outbreak, but no deaths have been reported.
The recall is to protect consumers and ensure that they "are clearly 100% getting the message that we do not want them to eat this product and want them to either discard it or return it to their store for a refund," said ConAgra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs.
The recall comes three days after ConAgra issued a consumer advisory telling customers not to eat its chicken and turkey pot pies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture first linked the outbreak to ConAgra's pot pies on Monday.
USDA investigators have been in the Marshall plant since then but have not been able to identify the source of the salmonella, said David Goldman of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
ConAgra had previously suggested that consumers need only cook the pot pies according to the instructions to kill any bacteria.
All ConAgra's pot pies are made at the Marshall plant, which began producing microwavable frozen pot pies in 2005.
"We're recalling all of them, all ever made at that plant," said Childs.
"It's great that they choose to do it. But it should've happened earlier," said Neal Hooker, an associate professor of economics at Ohio State University, who has studied meat and poultry recalls.
Recalls are pricey. Research firm Gimme Credit said in a report last month that ConAgra has rung up costs of $80 million '” about $20 million more than initial estimates '” because of this year's Peter Pan peanut butter recall, also linked to salmonella. Peter Pan's annual sales run about $150 million. ConAgra resumed shipping Peter Pan peanut butter in August.
Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps and usually lasts four to seven days. It is most commonly linked to raw poultry and eggs.
Consumers seeking refunds can send the side panel of the package to: ConAgra Foods, Dept. BQPP, P.O. Box 3768, Omaha, NE 68103-0768. Its toll-free number for consumer questions is 866-484-8671.