Potentially deadly E. coli outbreak triggers frozen food recall

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state Department of Health is warning people about a recall of frozen food related to a potentially deadly national outbreak of E. coli.

That outbreak has sickened 27 people from 15 states, including a Pierce County woman in her 20s. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has classified the health risk as "high."

The frozen products in the recall come from Farm Rich, Market Day and Schwan's brands. State officials say the food was distributed throughout Washington state. It includes a variety of frozen snacks.

"E. coli can be very serious. We're asking people to look at the recall list, check their freezers carefully, and throw out any of these products that they find," said Dave Gifford, food safety program manager with the state Department of Health.

The type of E. coli in this outbreak is a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121. It can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. It can sometimes result in severe, life-threatening illness.

Washington health officials encourage people to visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website for a full list of the food being recalled.