A public health alert is out in the United States about ready-to-eat meat from Canada.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued the public health alert on March 16 due to illnesses possibly associated with ready-to-eat (RTE) deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
FSIS said it was informed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that products subject to recall in Canada might have been exported to the United States.
The public health alert was initiated after positive test results and an investigation by CFIA in response to a listeriosis illness outbreak. In its statement FSIS went on to say, “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.