Archive for Friday, October 12, 2007

ConAgra recalling pot pies

October 12, 2007

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— ConAgra Foods Inc. recalled all its Banquet pot pies and store brand varieties Thursday after the products were linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

The company included beef pot pies in the recall after initially saying only the chicken and turkey pot pies should not be eaten.

ConAgra issued a consumer alert Tuesday and asked stores nationwide to stop selling the poultry pot pies, but the company stopped short of a recall until Thursday evening.

ConAgra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs said the decision to recall the pies wasn't based on new information, but an abundance of caution.

"We want to make sure there's no confusion with consumers, that these pot pies shouldn't be eaten," Childs said.

She said she knew of no indication of a link between cases of salmonella and the beef pot pies, but the company wanted to be careful as it collects information.

The pot pies made by Con-Agra have been linked to at least 165 cases of salmonella in 31 states. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 30 people have been hospitalized as part of the ongoing outbreak, but so far no deaths have been linked to the pot pies.

The company and federal officials warned customers not to eat the pot pies and to throw them away, and ConAgra is offering refunds. The store brand versions are sold under the names of Albertson's, Hill Country Fare, Food Lion, Great Value (sold at Wal-Mart stores), Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family.

ConAgra officials have said some of the illnesses may be linked to undercooked pot pies, but Childs said the pot pies should not be eaten even if consumers think they have cooked them correctly. ConAgra shut down the pot pie production line at its Marshall, Mo., plant, but the rest of the plant, which employs about 650 people, has continued operating, Childs said Wednesday.

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