For the second time in four months, Canada is warning consumers not to eat a Siena Foods Ltd. product because of possible Listeria contamination.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says Siena brand Prosciutto Cotto Cooked Ham may contain the pathogen. Last December, Siena brand mild Cacciatore Salami was recalled in Canada for Listeria.


This time, the affected product, Siena brand Prosciutto Cotto Cooked Ham, was sold to delicatessens, grocery and specialty food stores in large wholesale packages for further slicing bearing Best Before dates of March 8 and March 22, 2010.


The December recall resulted in certain Siena Foods Ltd. products being held, tested and only released if they were free from Listeria monocytogenes as part of sampling activities conducted in January and February 2010.


In a statement, CFIA said the current recall will also be carefully followed up with a test and hold protocol and the agency will work with the company to assess any issues that may have contributed to the positive results.


The affected product would have been sold to consumers after January 11, 2010. 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 cooked ham after January 11, 2010 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.


The recalled cooked ham was sold in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec.


This recall is based on positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes in product samples and CFIA’s investigation of these findings.


CFIA’s statement said the federal food safety agency was aware of a reported listeriosis in Ontario and is collaborating with the Province of Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada to investigate these illnesses.


At this time, no confirmed linkage has been made between the subject recalled products and the reported illnesses.


Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness.


Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.


The manufacturer, Siena Foods Ltd., Toronto, ON, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.


For more information consumers and industry can call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).