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Recall of Deli Meat Sold at Walmart Stores

Products May Contain Bacteria That Cause Listeriosis
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Aug. 24, 2010 -- Zemco Industries of Buffalo, N.Y., has voluntarily recalled about 380,000 pounds of deli meat products distributed nationwide to Walmart stores because of possible contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Such bacteria can cause listeriosis, a rare but potentially deadly disease.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made the announcement today.

The meat was distributed to Walmart stores across the country, where it is used to make Marketside Grab and Go deli sandwiches. 

The products subject to recall include:

  • 25.5-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches BLACK FOREST HAM With Natural Juices Coated with Caramel Color" with the number 17800 1300.
  • 28.49-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches HOT HAM, HARD SALAMI, PEPPERONI, SANDWICH PEPPERS" with the number 17803 1300.
  • 32.67-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches VIRGINIA BRAND HAM With Natural Juices, MADE IN NEW YORK, FULLY COOKED BACON, SANDWICH PICKLES, SANDWICH PEPPERS" with the number 17804 1300.
  • 25.5-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches ANGUS ROAST BEEF Coated with Caramel Color" with the number 17805 1300.

The recalled packages also have vendor number "398412808" on the label and the USDA mark of inspection. The deli meat products were produced between June 18 and July 2, 2010. The packages have various "Use By" dates ranging from Aug. 20 to Sept. 10, 2010.

A statement issued by Walmart says the recall involves the following half- and whole-sized Marketside Grab and Go sandwiches with a "sell by" date of Aug. 25, 2010 or before:

  • Ham and Swiss Sandwich
  • Italian Hero Sandwich
  • Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich
  • Smokehouse Hero Sandwich

After learning of the voluntary recall, Walmart instructed all stores to remove the items from the shelves. Customers who have purchased any of the recalled items may contact the store for a refund.

Class 1 Recall

The USDA has flagged this as a Class I recall, which means it is "a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."

There have been no reports of illnesses by those who have eaten the deli meat, according to FSIS.  Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and nausea. Pregnant women who are exposed to the bacteria can have a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. Those most at risk for developing serious infections include people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV infection or those who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Preventing Listeriosis

Here are some tips from the USDA for people at risk for listeriosis:

  • Never eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna, or other deli meats until you reheat them to steaming hot.
  • Do not eat refrigerated paté or meat spreads from a meat counter.
  • Do not eat smoked seafood found in a store's refrigerated section of the store.
  • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk.
  • Do not eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
  • Do not eat store-made salads such as ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, or seafood salad.
  • Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, queso blanco, queso fresco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, and Panela unless the label specifically says it is made with pasteurized milk.
  • Eat any precooked or ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.
  • Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower and the freezer at 0 degrees F or lower.
  • Always wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after touching raw meats and items that came in contact with them, such as knives or cutting boards.

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