The following is the text of a letter to parents, dated Friday, April 5, that was sent home with students attending 14 Harford County public schools where a recalled food product, Pepperoni Pizzatas by Rich Products Corp., was served to students earlier in the week:
As a follow-up to the call that was made yesterday evening regarding the food product recall, we wanted to be sure you were aware of the recall details, possible symptoms associated with consumption of contaminated food products and contact information for school system departments that can assist with questions and concerns.
Rich Products Corporation of Buffalo, New York, announced a national voluntary recall of certain Farm Rich products, specifically Pepperoni Pizzatas, and the Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Food and Nutrition Office was notified of the recall late Wednesday evening.
The reason for the recall was due to possible contamination with Escherichia coli O121 (E. Coli O121). As a result of the recall, in addition to the Pepperoni Pizzatas, HCPS immediately removed from our cafeterias ALL products from this manufacturer, in an abundance of caution. The Harford County Health Department was immediately notified and consulted.
Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Blood is often seen in the stool (feces). Usually little or no fever is present. Symptoms typically occur 24-72 hours following consumption, but it is possible to experience symptoms up to eight days.
As of today, there have been no reported cases of illness in Maryland related to this recall. However, if your child consumed the product and is now experiencing diarrhea, please contact your health care provider. Your school nurse should also be informed.
If you have questions regarding the food product recall, please contact the HCPS Food and Nutrition Office at 410-638-4078. As always, the health and safety of our students is our number one priority.
Gary Childress Mary Nasuta, RN, MS, NCSN
Supervisor HCPS Nurse Coordinator