|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Media Communications Office
(202) 720-9113; FAX: (202) 690-0460
Contact: Beth Gaston
Pager-1-800-759-8888 PIN 1332897
WASHINGTON, January 15, 1999--Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation, a Madison, Wisconsin meat processing firm, is voluntarily recalling 28,313 pounds of deli meat that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
Subject to recall are two variety pack deli meats, "OSCAR MAYER All American Variety Pack, 10 oz." and "OSCAR MAYER Club Sandwich Variety Pack, 9 oz." with the JAN 12 date in the upper left corner on the back of the package. In addition, packages bear EST 537A or P-1449 in the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection mark.
Products were sliced and packaged on October 29, 1998, and distributed nationwide within the U.S. and also to Singapore, Bermuda, Aruba, St. Maarten, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
"Because of the potential of foodborne illness, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it and to return it to the point of purchase," said Thomas J. Billy, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Based on a report of a consumer illness in Kansas City, Missouri, FSIS tested intact packages of the Oscar Mayer product. A positive result for Listeria monocytogenes prompted the recall.
At this point FSIS has no evidence linking this product to the nationwide listeriosis outbreak, which is still under joint FSIS and CDC investigation.
Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially serious disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. The most common manifestation of listeriosis is meningitis, which has symptoms of high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems--infants, the frail or elderly, and persons with chronic disease or HIV infection or taking chemotherapy for cancer.
Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.
Consumers with questions about the recall may phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.
Consumers may also contact the company at 1-800-433-9362 from 7 a.m. CST to 10 p.m. CST.
NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site on the World Wide Web at http://www.fsis.usda.gov
Note to Editors: Media inquiries to Oscar Mayer should be directed to Kathy Knuth at (847) 646-2666.
For Further Information, Contact:
Consumers: Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-800-535-4555 (voice); 1-800-256-7072 (TTY)
Media: (202) 720-9113
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