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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) here said yesterday it is investigating a ConAgra-owned plant in Missouri that voluntarily ceased operations due to reported illnesses linked to its products, Banquet brand and store-brand frozen not-ready-to-eat pot pie products, made at the plant.
The products, with "P-9" printed on the side of the package, might be the potential source of reported illnesses caused by Salmonella based on epidemiological evidence collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State public health departments, FSIS said.
On October 3, the CDC launched a multi-state case control study with detailed questions on chicken and egg consumption. Based on additional information provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, CDC added questions to the study on October 5 focusing on frozen chicken or turkey pot pie product consumption.
Health authorities told FSIS on October 5 that the products were possibly linked to 139 cases of salmonella in 30 states. After discussions with CDC and the states throughout the weekend, on October 8 FSIS dispatched specially trained investigators to the Marshall, Mo. plant to gather additional information.
The Agency said consumers should discard the chicken or turkey pot pie products, or to refrain from eating them "until we are able to determine the source, products and potential production dates of contamination and to verify proper cooking instructions for these not-ready-to-eat products. We will provide updates as further information becomes available."
ConAgra, which is cooperating in the investigation, said it would provide information regarding these products at: www.conagrafoods.com.