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Salmonella Uganda Outbreak Sparks Hog Head Cheese Recall

A recent outbreak of Salmonella Uganda in Louisiana has prompted a Texas company to recall a ready-to-eat (RTE) pork product. Houston’s Stallings Head Cheese Co. Inc. recalled 4,700 pounds of hog head cheese Thursday for possible Salmonella contamination.

The recall includes 10 ounce packages of “Richard’s Hog Head Cheese” bearing establishment number “EST. 2257” inside the USDA market of inspection and sell by dates “Use by 2 1 2013″ or “Use by 3 20 2013″on each package.

According to the announcement by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the recalled meat was produced between Nov. 1, 2012 and Dec. 19, 2012. It was shipped to a distribution center for delivery to retailers in Louisiana and southeastern Texas.

Stallings’ hogs head has been linked to a recent Salmonella Uganda outbreak, involving a six-person cluster of patients from Louisiana.

Working in conjunction with the Louisiana Office of Public Health, FSIS was able to link illnesses to the RTE pork products produced at this establishment based on epidemiologic and trace back investigations.

Illness onset dates among the case-patients ranged from October 16, 2012 to November 10, 2012. Four case-patients confirmed eating the brand under recall.

Leftover RTE product from consumers was not available for testing. However, retail samples of like product from different production dates underwent testing last week, and four of nine samples tested positive for Salmonella.

It is not known at this time if these samples are positive for the outbreak strain, but any finding of such will be made public by FSIS once it becomes available. FSIS is continuing to work with public health partners on the investigation.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Symptoms usually develop within 12 to 72 hours of exposure to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.

Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

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