Possible Salmonella Prompts Beef Jerky Recall

Whittington’s Jerky, Inc., of Johnson City, Texas, is recalling about 126 pounds of its beef jerky products over concerns the meat might be contaminated with the dangerous <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella pathogen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced.

The recall has been deemed a Class I by the agency—its most serious designation—which means this is a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The beef jerky products subject to the recall are:

• 2-ounce packages of “Whittington’s Original Beef Jerky”
• 4-ounce packages of “Whittington’s Original Beef Jerky”

Each package bears the establishment number “EST. 21257″ inside the USDA mark of inspection; the packages were produced on October 31, 2011 and distributed to convenience stores in West Texas and at the company’s retail operation. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp

The FSIS discovered the problem as a result of its routine testing. FSIS determined the product was shipped by the firm before testing results were confirmed.

Neither the agency nor Whittington’s Jerky Inc. have received reports of illnesses associated with consumption of the recalled jerky products; however, Salmonella poisoning can take some time to manifest. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Susan Whittington of Whittington’s Jerky can be reached at 1.830.868.5500. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative, which is available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis—Salmonella infection—are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, with symptoms manifesting, usually, within six to 72 hours. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required.

Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses. Salmonella, can be dangerous, sometimes deadly, leaving sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food borne illnesses, can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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