The Utah Department of Health has received reports of 12 lab-confirmed cases of Salmonellosis that match a strain linked to recalled frozen pot pies, according to spokeswoman Charla Haley.
The pies were voluntarily recalled by manufacturer ConAgra. Now consumers need to make sure that they don't have any of the products from the recall, issued Oct. 11 after an outbreak nationwide that included 245 cases of the bacteria-caused illness. In Utah, no one was ill enough to be hospitalized.
Three confirmed cases each have been reported in Salt Lake and Davis counties. All the cases were on the Wasatch Front, Haley said. The suspicion is that the pies were not cooked properly.
When Davis County health inspectors checked local store shelves to see if the product had been completely removed from area stores, it found some stores were still selling the product. That has since been rectified, Lewis Garrett, director of the Davis County Health Department, said in a release about the illnesses.
Now health officials statewide worry that the pies may be sitting in people's freezers. A U.S. Department of Agriculture news release on the recall said the frozen pot pies included those made with chicken, turkey or beef. They were sold under the brand names Banquet, Albertson's, Food Lion, Great Value, Hill Country Fare, Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family. All of them are in single-serving packages with an establishment number "P-9" of "Est. 1059" on the side. Utah's reported illnesses took place between May and September.
Salmonellosis can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after infection and usually lasts from four to seven days. Most people get better on their own, but diarrhea may be so severe that hospitalization is required.
In some cases, the bacterial infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other parts of the body. Without prompt treatment with the right antibiotics, an individual with severe infection can die. Those most likely to have severe illness include the old, the young and those with compromised immune systems. In a small number of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infection can move into the joints, a condition called Reiter's syndrome that can lead to chronic arthritis.
Information on the recall is online at www.fsis.usda.gov. Or consumers can call ConAgra at 866-484-8671.