A massive recall involving a snack food manufacturer in New York highlights the benefits of automated data collection software, as the company needs to track down and remove three million pounds of food from store shelves. NBC News reported that an E. coli outbreak at a plant at Waycross, Georgia, has contaminated 10 million pounds of food distributed by the Rich Products Corporation, which is headquarted in Buffalo, New York.
Company officials told the news source that approximately 70 percent of the contaminated frozen food items never made it out of the production facility. However, Rich Products needs act quickly to find the additional 3 million pounds of tainted food, as it has caused 8 hospitalizations and 27 people to fall ill in 15 states.
Details of the E. coli Outbreak
Adding urgency to the company's quest to remove contaminated products from store shelves is that the strain found in the frozen food items is a particularly virulent and rare strain of E. coli, NBC reported. Children, the elderly and those with weaker immune systems can develop severe complications that can lead to hospitalization and eventually kidney failure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, E. coli is one of the top five foodborne illnesses that sends infected people to the hospital.
According to Rich Products, the infected items include mini quesadillas, mini pizza slices, Philly cheese steaks and mozzarella bites. The products are marketed under their Farm Rich and Market Day brands.
"At Rich's, food safety and the safety of our consumers is of paramount importance," the company said in a statement last month. "Since discovering that illnesses may be linked to our products, we have been working quickly and extensively with the Food Safety Inspection Service at USDA, as well as the Food and Drug Administration. We also are working as fast as possible to investigate and identify the possible source of contamination."
Recall-Specific Benefits of Automated Data Collection Software
In the event of a recall, especially one on the scale of this most recent incident, companies need to work quickly to remove contaminated food items from store shelves before anyone becomes sick. However, for manufacturers that distribute food across the country or around the world, accurately keeping track of and monitoring the location of each item is difficult. By using automated data collection software, though, businesses can more easily keep tabs of their distributed supply and quickly notify stores and warehouses to minimize the risk posed by contaminated food.