FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Ready-To-Eat Deli Meat Products

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Adrian Gianforti

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to illnesses possibly associated with ready-to-eat (RTE) deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Recommendations For People At Risk For Listeriosis

Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.

Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.

Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna or other deli meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot.

Do not eat refrigerated pâté, meat spreads from a meat counter or smoked seafood found in the refrigerated section of the store. Foods that don't need refrigeration, like canned tuna and canned salmon, are safe to eat. Refrigerate after opening.

Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk and do not eat foods that have unpasteurized milk in them.

Do not eat salads made in the store such as ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or seafood salad.

Do not eat soft cheeses such as Feta, quesco blanco, quesco fresco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses and Panela unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk.

Use precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as you can. Listeria can grow in the refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40° F or lower, and the freezer 0° F or lower. Use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature of your refrigerator.

FSIS was informed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that products subject to recall in Canada may have been exported to the United States. This public health alert was initiated after positive test results and an investigation by CFIA in response to a listeriosis illness outbreak. At this time, no confirmed linkage has been made between the products subject to recall and the reported illnesses. This is an ongoing investigation and as more information becomes available, FSIS may proceed with a recall action.

Implicated products produced by Siena Foods LTD, a Toronto, Ontario, establishment, include, but are not limited to, "Cacciatore Salami, Mild," "Coppa," "Prosciuttini," "Prosciuttini Hot," and "Prosciutto Cotto." The individually wrapped products have variable weights and a "Best Before" date through June 22, 2010, as well as the establishment number "Est. 212" inside the CFIA mark of inspection. However, the original brand and/or best before dates may not have been transferred at the deli counters to consumer packages. Persons who may have purchased any of these products and do not know original brand and code are advised to check with their retailer or supplier to determine if they have the affected product.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the CFIA at (800) 442-2342 / TTY (800) 465-7735. Media with questions about recall should contact CFIA Media Relations, at (613) 773-6600.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
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REPRESENTATIVE PRODUCT LABELS

Product label, cooked ham

Product label, cotta

Product label, prosciuttini

Product label, prosciuttini, hot

Last Modified Jul 22, 2013