ConAgra Banquet Pot Pie Salmonella Victims Now Number 272, CDC SaysOct 31, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP
The ConAgra Banquet Pot Pie Salmonella outbreak has extended to 35 states, where the tainted pot pies have sickened 272 people. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at least 65 victims have been hospitalized, but there have been no deaths connected to the ConAgra pot pie recall.
The number of Salmonella victims has more than doubled since ConAgra’s Banquet and store brand pot pies were first linked to 139 cases of Salmonella poisoning throughout the country on October 9. That day, ConAgra issued a health alert about the Salmonella pot pie outbreak, warning consumers not to eat any of its 7-ounce store brand or Banquet Pot Pies with the codes “P-9” or “Est 1059” on the package. Despite the health alert, ConAgra did not recall the tainted Banquet pot pies. Instead, ConAgra tried to deflect blame for the Salmonella pot pies by claiming that consumers caused the outbreak by failing to cook the pies properly.
On October 11, ConAgra finally did issue a pot pie recall. The day prior to the recall announcement, media outlets reported that two state health officials from Minnesota and Oregon had formally requested that ConAgra officially recall the pies, but were rebuffed. Shortly after those reports circulated, ConAgra announced the pot pie recall. Included in the pot pie recall notice were all varieties of Banquet Pot Pies, as well as ConAgra-produced generic brand pot pies under the following labels: Albertson's, Food Lion, Great Value, Hill Country Fare, Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family. The Salmonella contaminated pot pies were sold in all fifty states, as well as in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands.
According to the latest CDC report on the ConAgra pot pie Salmonella outbreak, all 272 victims tested positive for the same strain of the bacteria. The CDC has linked those cases to the consumption of Banquet Pot Pies, and the same Salmonella strain was also found in three ConAgra pot pies purchased by victims. Washington state has been struck with the highest number of Salmonella cases, with 27. Wisconsin has had 24, while California, Missouri and Pennsylvania each had 18. The CDC says that the Salmonella outbreak is still ongoing, so consumers are urged to check their freezers for any Banquet or store brand pot pies covered by the recall.
This is the second time this year that ConAgra has had to issue a large-scale product recall because of Salmonella dangers. In February, the company recalled its Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut Butter after it was blamed for a Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 600 people in 47 states. Considering how long ConAgra allowed its Salmonella tainted pot pies to stay in circulation, it would not be surprising if this latest outbreak became just as extensive.