Marie Callender's Cheesy Chicken and Rice Dinner (ConAgra) - Salmonella Chester OutbreakAt least 37 people have been infected with Salmonella Chester in 18 states in an outbreak linked to the ConAgra product Marie Callender's Cheesy Chicken and Rice frozen dinners. ConAgra recalled the product in mid-June 2010, after the CDC and State Departments of Health linked the frozen dinners to the outbreak. Salmonella is widely under-reported; it is estimated that for every confirmed case of Salmonella, another 38 people are ill. Recalls of frozen products are much more difficult that other recalls, in that the product can remain in the home for many months. In the 2007 outbreak of Salmonella in ConAgra's Banquet Pot Pies, many people were sickened after the recall.
The number of confirmed cases by state are reported as: AK (1), CA (5), CO (2), GA (7), IL (1), KY (1), MA (2), MN (2), MO (1), NC (1), OK (1), OR (2), SC (2), TN (1), TX (1), UT (2), VA (4), and WA (1).
Consumers are urged to check and see if they have the product on hand, and if so, dispose of it. Anyone who has consumed the product and is experiencing symptoms of Salmonella should visit their health care practitioner to get tested. Salmonella can make anyone very ill, but is especially dangerous to the young, the elderly, and the immune-compromised.
Marler Clark filed a lawsuit on June 23, 2009 on behalf of a victim of the outbreak who was hospitalized for several days after being infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella. A second Salmonella lawsuit was filed on June 25, on behalf of an Oregon man who fell ill after consuming the Marie Callender's dinner. Marler Clark also represented many victims of the Pot Pie outbreak, as well as the ConAgra peanut butter Salmonella outbreak of 2007.