Listeria Risk Prompts Mass Recall of Meat Products

22,000 Pounds of Chicken, Ham, and Beef Products Involved

bacteria food poisoning

Take a look inside your refrigerator – if you have recently purchased various types of ready-to-eat deli salads, a dangerous foodborne illness could be lurking within.

Reser's Fine Foods Inc. is recalling more than 22,000 pounds of refrigerated ready-to-eat chicken, ham, and beef products due to possible Listeria contamination. The products were distributed nationwide and in Canada.

Identifying Contaminated Products

The recalled products include multiple types of chicken salad, ham salad, barbeque beans with beef, and potato salad with bacon.

Look for packages with the establishment number EST. 13520 or P-13520 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The potentially contaminated packages also list the plant identifier code of 20 following the use-by or best-by date.

Potential Listeria Risk

The FDA identified potential cross contamination of products with Listeria monocytogenes through testing done at Reser's Fine Foods' salad manufacturing facility in Topeka, KS.

Although no illnesses have been reported to date, eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause Listeriosis. This serious foodborne illness causes high fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems. It may even lead to confusion, and convulsions. Listeriosis infections can be fatal in older adults, pregnant women, infants, and those with compromised immune systems.

What You Can Do

If the product is still unused, the FDA advises that consumers take the product back to the store for a refund or discard it.

However, if you think you may have food poisoning, you should seek medical help immediately. Even though listeria food poisoning is rare, it can be deadly. Ask your medical provider to take the necessary steps to confirm the illness (such as testing a stool sample, blood, or spinal fluid). Without medical confirmation, you could lose your right to legal compensation for any medical bills or missed work time that you may incur.

Keep track of all your symptoms, dates you experienced them, and, if possible, save the contaminated food for testing. Contact your health department to share any important information about a potential outbreak or contamination.

Source: “22,000 Pounds of Meat Recalled; Possible Listeria.” October 23, 2013.