Health Feature Articles
Janet Hackert, Regional Nutrition and Health Education Specialist
Updated by Jessica Kovarik, RD, LD, Extension Associate, University of Missouri Extension
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on a Salmonella outbreak in the fall of 2007, they CDC discovered that the most likely cause of this illness was Banquet brand pot pies made by ConAgra Foods by investigating what was eaten by those who got sick compared with what was eaten by those who did not.
As a result, the CDC advised consumers to not eat Banquet pot pies or pot pies made by ConAgra Foods that “have a printed code beginning in ‘5009’ and ending in ‘P9’ or ‘Est 1059.’” Even if the pot pie does not have the Banquet brand, but is one of the store brands made by ConAgra, such as Great Value brand sold at Wal-Mart or Kirkwood sold at Aldi, the printed code will still end in ‘P9’ or ‘Est 1059.’
The CDC is advising consumers to check packages before purchasing. They also recommend that, “If you have any of these products at home, the safest thing to do is to discard them.”
Being infected with Salmonella can feel like what people often refer to as a nasty flu. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, as well as chills, headache, nausea and vomiting. These show up 12-72 hours after being infected. The illness lasts 4-7 days. As with other illnesses, infants, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, may be more severely affected. In this outbreak, persons who became ill ranged in age from less than 1 to 87 years of age.
Salmonella, if left untreated, can often be overcome by a person’s natural immune system. It can also become severe, causing hospitalization (as in 30 of the recent cases) or even death. Salmonella can be diagnosed, though, and treated with antibiotics.
To prevent Salmonella, wash hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and egg products. Also wash cutting boards, utensils and other dishes that have come in contact with raw meat and poultry, or their juices, or egg products. And clean up spills right away. Cook raw meat and poultry to proper internal temperatures before eating. This includes easy-to-prepare foods, like pot pies, that are NOT ‘ready-to-eat.’ The safe internal temperature for beef is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, pork is 160 degrees Fahrenheit and for poultry it is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Ground poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and all other ground meat to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to determine this temperature.
If you think you or someone you know has become ill with Salmonella, contact your health care provider. For questions about the recall, you can also contact ConAgra Foods toll free at 1-866-484-8671.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://media.conagrafoods.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=202310&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1062133&highlight=
Cook to Safe Temperatures. Retrieved May 16, 2008 from http://www.fightbac.org/images/pdfs/cook.pdf
ConAgra Foods website: http://cdc.gov/salmonella/4512eyeminus.html
Discussion with Carolyn Queen, Harrison County Health Department Public Nurse
Last Updated 05/05/2009