Listeria Warning in Minnesota for J&B Meats Smoke Pork & Beef BratwurstFeb 12, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
Listeria tainted smoked pork and beef bratwurst sold in Minnesota has health officials in that state worried. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is alerting consumers to avoid consuming smoked pork and beef bratwurst produced by J&B Meats, of Barnesville, Minnesota. A routine product sampling revealed that the meat products are contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. There have been no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of the Listeria tainted J&B meat products. MDA investigators are now working to determine the source of the Listeria contamination. J&B Meats is cooperating with MDA’s investigation.
The bratwurst in question are markedthe lot number PBB30306 and Minnesota State Establishment Number 1198. J&B Meats sold the bratwurst at its retail store in Barnesville, Minnesota; the products are often sold frozen. Consumers are asked to return packages to the retail store.
Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious although relatively rare infection. Listeriosis outbreaks have been associated with consuming unpasteurized or raw milk, contaminated soft cheeses, vegetables, and ready-to-eat meats. The Listeria bacterium is found in soil and water. Animals can carry the bacterium without appearing ill, contaminating foods of animal origin such as meats and dairy products. The bacterium has been found in processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as soft cheeses and deli counter cold cuts. The disease typically affects pregnant women—often resulting in stillborn deaths or miscarriage—newborns and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.
Any consumers who believe they may have become ill after eating the product should contact their health care provider and the Minnesota Foodborne Illness Hotline toll free number at 1-877-366-3455. For more details about the product, call J&B Meats at 218-493-4290.
Listeria has been the focus of a number of outbreaks in recent months, including at least three cases in North Carolina which appeared to be linked to soft cheeses from a variety of sources and an outbreak at the Whittier Farms dairy in Massachusetts where four people died and more were sickened from consuming products produced at the dairy. Also, last month, in Olympia, Washington, the Ca Rem #1 Ice Cream, SeaTac voluntarily recalled its coconut-flavored popsicles due to a possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The frozen treat recall was initiated when routine sampling and analysis by the Washington State Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Listeria.
As a general rule, do not consume unpasteurized milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk. Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources and wash raw vegetables before consuming them. Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods and consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods immediately. For those at increased risk, do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming. Do not allow fluid from hot dog packages to contaminate other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.