ConAgra Foods Inc. stopped production of Banquet pot pies at the Missouri plant that may be linked to 139 cases of salmonella in 30 states.
ConAgra maintains that its pies are safe if they are cooked properly, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a health alert Tuesday afternoon to warn consumers about the link between the company's product and the salmonella cases.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking reports of the salmonella cases since Wednesday. A CDC spokeswoman said the largest numbers of salmonella cases had been reported in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Missouri.
Salmonella sickens about 40,000 people a year in the U.S. and kills about 600. Most of the deaths are among people with weaker immune systems such as the elderly or very young. It can cause diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting. Most cases of salmonella poisoning are caused by undercooked eggs and chicken.