Sandwich Recall Adds Listeria to the Growing Food Borne Contaminations Under Investigation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) just announced that individually packaged ready-to-eat chicken and turkey sandwiches, manufactured by DBC, Inc.—which also does business as World Class Canapés—and sold in the state of Massachusetts are being recalled over concerns of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The FSIS discovered the potential contamination through microbiological sampling.  According to state officials, the sandwiches may have been sold in up to 18 Roche Brothers and Sudbury Farms in eastern Massachusetts.

The sandwiches were prepared on July 30; consumers are being warned to not to eat DBC, Inc./World Class Canapés ready-to-eat sandwiches purchased between July 30 and August 3rd.  Approximately 285 pounds of the ready-to-eat chicken products are being recalled and may be contaminated with the bacterium that causes Listeriosis.  The following sandwiches are included in the statewide recall:

  • 80-ounce cases of Progressive Gourmet Buffalo Chicken Roller Sandwiches with a “sell by” date of “8/2/08″ and a case code of 8500WRAS.
  • 80-ounce cases of Progressive Gourmet Chicken Caesar Roller Sandwiches with a “sell by” date of “8/2/08″ and a case code of 8500WRCA.
  • 80-ounce cases of Progressive Gourmet Honey Turkey with Baby Spinach Roller Sandwiches.  Each package bears a “sell by” date of “8/2/08″ and a case code of 8500WRTU.

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning generated by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and is particularly dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those who are undergoing chemotherapy.  Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms—fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea.  In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions.  In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.  Listeria lives in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food and can easily contaminate dairy and beef products.  Because Listeria thrives in the cold, refrigerated food products provide an ideal environment for the germ.

We have long been reporting on the rash of food borne contaminations from Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli, Salmonella, and Botulism, to name a few.  Part of the reason such illnesses are on the rise is this country’s outdated and under-funded food-surveillance system that has become overwhelmed by the emergence of mega-farms, -distribution centers, and -transporters.

Late last month Vita Nova Salmon was recalled over concerns about Listeria contamination.  Earlier in July wild Alaskan smoked salmon nova lox distributed in a wide variety of states by Salmolux Inc. of Federal Way, Washington, was recalled, also over concerns of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.  And, this year alone, Listeria has been the focus of numerous outbreaks, including products from Fresca Italia, Whittier Farms, Sea Tac, J&B Meats, Meijer Inc., Chang Farms, Gourmet Boutique, Bright Waters, R&R Alsatian Sausage and Products; Amish Macaroni Salad; Supreme Cuts, Stop and Shop, Piney Ridge Dairy, and Clark and Elaine Duncan’s Farm, to name some.  Also, Hope Food Supply Inc. was ordered to shut down and immediately recall all products manufactured from its Texas facility since 2007 due to possible food contaminant risks following its failure to follow a previous consent decree.

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