Texas firm recalls ready-to-eat products for possible listeria contamination

Texas firm recalls ready-to-eat products for possible listeria contamination
MGN
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POSTED: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 6:44pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 6:45pm

Great American Marketing, a Houston, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 475 pounds of FSIS and FDA-regulated, ready-to-eat products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The sandwich and wrap products were produced on July 15, 2014, and then shipped to retail locations in Texas. Case labels or packaging bear the sell by date of 07/26/14.

Products regulated by FSIS bear the establishment number “EST 31680” or “P-31680” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The following FSIS-regulated products are subject to recall:

  • 7.4 ounce plastic-covered tray packages containing Chicken Caesar Wraps.
  • 8.1 ounce plastic-covered tray packages containing Club Wraps.
  • FDA-regulated products being recalled (are listed at http://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/) and include:
  • 10.5 ounce plastic-covered tray packages containing Ham and Cheddar Premium sandwiches.
  • 10.5 ounce plastic-covered tray packages containing Turkey & Swiss Premium sandwiches.

The problem was discovered when FSIS collected a sample of a separate product on July 15, 2014, that was confirmed positive for L. monocytogenes on July 23. The sampled product was held. However, the plant produced the additional FSIS and FDA regulated products listed in this recall without conducting a complete clean-up of the production equipment. Those products have entered commerce and are subject to recall. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

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. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.
FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Bill Welch at (713) 682-6471.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.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. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem. 

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