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Listeria Scare Leads To Massive Meatball Recall

The label of the meatball that may be adulterated by a contaminant.
The label of the meatball that may be adulterated by a contaminant. Photo Credit: FSIS

A New Jersey food corporation is recalling nearly 3,500 pounds of beef meatball products following an outbreak of Listeria that presents a high health risk to consumers, health officials said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety announced on Wednesday that Vineland, N.J.-based Rich Products Corporation is recalling 3,420 pounds of ready-to-eat frozen meatballs that were packaged in six-pound bags marked “Member’s Mark Casa  DI BERTACCHI ITALIAN STYLE BEEF MEATBALLS.”

Health officials said that the recall was announced because the meatballs may be tainted with Listeria monocytogenes, creating a “high” health risk for the public. The recalled products will have a “best if used by” date of Dec. 17, 2018 and will have a lot code of 15507351 on the packaging.

The problem was discovered on Jan. 24, when FSIS received notification from the firm that they shipped adulterated product into commerce. The label of the product can be seen above.

According to the FSIS, consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

“Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.”

There have been no confirmed reports of any adverse reactions due to consumption of the product. Shoppers that may have purchased the products are “urged not to consume them.”

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