General Mills recalls frozen pizzas

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. on Thursday became the second large food company to issue a wide-scale product recall in the past month, announcing it has recalled approximately 414,000 cases of Totino’s and Jeno’s frozen pizzas with pepperoni toppings for possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7.

The recall includes eight stock-keeping units of Totino’s brand frozen pizza and three s.k.u.s of Jeno’s brand frozen pizza, all of which include pepperoni toppings.

The products were produced at the company’s Wellston, Ohio, facility and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

According to General Mills, the potential problem was discovered by state and federal authorities investigating 21 occurrences of E. coli-related illnesses in 10 states. The earliest case was reported on July 20, and the latest case occurred on Oct. 10. Nine of the 21 people who fell ill reported having eaten Totino’s or Jeno’s pizza with pepperoni topping at some point prior to becoming ill.

Since July 1, Totino’s and Jeno’s have distributed more than 120 million pizzas nationwide. According to data supplied by Information Resources, Inc., frozen pizza sales in the 52-week period ended Sept. 9 totaled $2,849,487,000. General Mills is the fourth largest vendor of frozen pizza, with sales of $207,364,200; Totino’s is the fifth largest brand, with sales of $151,481,900 during the period.

The announcement comes less than a month after Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, Inc. voluntarily recalled an undetermined number of frozen pot pies that may be linked to a Salmonella outbreak. Earlier this year, ConAgra was forced to recall Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter that also were contaminated with Salmonella.

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