E. coli outbreak sickens 24 in U.S. -CDC

WASHINGTON, March 29 Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:55pm EDT

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - A U.S. outbreak of E. coli has sickened 24 people, with Farm Rich frozen food suspected as a likely source of the infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

The outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing escherichia coli O121, or STEC O121, has been reported in 15 states, the CDC said in a statement.

New York state health officials found the strain in an open package of Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas from an ill person's home, the CDC said.

Rich Products Corp. of Buffalo, New York, recalled about 196,222 pounds (89,000 kg) of its Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas and several other frozen mini meals and snack items on Thursday because they might be contaminated, the CDC said.

The Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are also investigating to find the source of infections, the CDC said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Beech)

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