Listeria fears have prompted a recall of approximately 15,880 pounds of ready-to-eat poultry and meat products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced. The recall has been implemented by Reichel Foods, of Rochester, Minnesota.
The recall, deemed a Class I by the FSIS, represents a health hazard situation in which there exists is a reasonable probability that use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death. The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen is dangerous and can be deadly.
The recall involves the following 5.6-ounce packaged Armour Active Packs products:
- Turkey & Cheese Wrap: Package Code 1026090112 or Case Code 27815-17994.
- Ham & Cheese Wrap: Package Code 1026090112 or Case Code 27815-17995.
The recalled products were produced July 23-26, 2012 and bear a “sell by” date through September 1, 2012 and establishment number “P-19941″ or “Est. 19941″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to distribution centers in Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Texas. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on FSIS’ website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.
Reichel Foods discovered the potential contamination through third party microbiological testing. The FSIS and Reichel foods have not received reports of illnesses due to consumption of these products; however, as we’ve long explained, the Listeria pathogen is unique because it tends to thrive in colder temperatures, such as those found in refrigerated environments, which can extend the life of the produce. Listeria also has an unusually long incubation period—up to 70 days, according to experts—and also well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication and length to expected reporting time frames.
Listeria monocytogenes can lead to the listeriosis infection, a potentially fatal disorder that can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can also prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriage and stillbirth; pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.
Karin Grzanek of Reichel Foods can be reached, toll-free, at 1.866.372.2609. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. “Ask Karen” live chat services are available Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET). Also, the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline—1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854)—is available in English and Spanish, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday; recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.