Albie’s Foods, of Gaylord, Michigan, is recalling about 311 pounds of its pizza calzone products over potential contamination with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced.
The recall has been deemed a Class I by the FSIS, which means this is a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
The fully cooked, ready-to-eat, calzone products were produced on April 10, 2012 and shipped to institutions in Indiana and Michigan. Packages containing 48 4.5-ounce pieces of “Albie’s Pizza Calzone” are involved in the recall. Each package bears the establishment number “EST. 10100” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The problem was discovered during routine FSIS testing. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.
FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products; however, as we’ve long explained, it is important to bear in mind that the Listeria pathogen thrives in cold environments, such as refrigerators. The Listeria pathogen also has a fairly long incubation period; up to 70 days, and well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication.
Listeria monocytogenes can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is potentially fatal and can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly.
Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The
infection can also prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriage and stillbirth; pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected.
Listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can also lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.
Consumers with questions about the recall can reach Paul Lochinski, vice president, Albie’s Foods Inc. at 1.989.732.2800. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative, available 24 hours a day, at AskKaren.gov. “Ask Karen” live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday; recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.