A rapidly expanding recall of ready-to-eat meats has “devastated” Winnipeg-based Smith’s Quality Meats.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Smith’s began warning the public not to consume certain ready to eat meats from “Establishment 294” on June 11 because of fear about contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

Smith’s and CFIA then expanded the warning June 16 with details about the distribution of the potentially contaminated meat.

CFIA said the Smith’s recall was a precautionary measure, and was voluntary.  The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall, and the investigation is continuing.

Canada’s awareness of the danger of Listeria in ready-to-eat meats was greatly enhanced two years ago when a nationwide outbreak killed 22 mostly elderly Canadians.  The culprit then was ready to eat meats from a Maple Leaf Foods facility located in Toronto.

The expanded recall follows an earlier notice about Lesters brand Montreal Smoked Meat pouches distributed in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, also as a result of the possibility of Listeria contamination.

The affected Lesters products are sold in 100-gram packages with a best-before date between July 16 and July 24.  The list of recalled Smith’s products, including package size and UPC code, is as follows:

The following ready-to-eat meat products bearing Establishment number 294 and a Best Before date between 2010JN11 (June 11, 2010) and 2010SE03 (September 3, 2010), inclusive, are affected by this alert.

-Deluxe beef salami / 500 g / 0 55230 00051 1

-Deluxe beef salami / 300 g / 0 22738 00050 3

-Pepperoni hot / 500 g / 0 22738 20613 4

-Coarse garlic sausage ring / 450 g / 0 22738 20710 0

-Corned beef round sliced / 250 g / 0 22738 20014 9

-Premium cooked roast beef sliced / 250 g / 0 22738 20212 9

-Pizza-style boneless smoked ham sliced / 1.0 kg / 0 22738 20416 1

-Pepperoni sliced / 1.0 kg / 0 22738 20630 1

-Smoked beef wiener / 500 g / 0 22738 10030 2

-Corned beef round / variable weights / N/A

-Premium cooked roast beef / variable weights / N/A

-Garlic roast beef / variable weights / N/A

-Smoked beef / variable weights / N/A

-Pastrami / variable weights / N/A

The affected products have been distributed in retail and deli stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

If the original product identity and Best Before code is not evident, consumers are advised to check with their retailer to determine if the product is included in the list of recalled products.

No illnesses have yet been associated with the Smith’s recall.

CFIA reminded consumers that 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.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Smith’s Quality Meats at 204-633-7054 (7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central time, Monday to Friday)

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).