Salads are being recalled for Listeria contamination in what has been described by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) as a Class I recall, its most serious. Class I recalls represent a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
The 18th Street Deli Inc., Hamtramck, Michigan, is recalling approximately 118 pounds of julienne salad products that contain turkey, ham, and hard-boiled eggs. The salads contain eggs that are the subject of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
The salad products were produced on January 20, 2012 and then distributed to retail stores in Michigan and vending companies in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio and involve 9.25-ounce packages of “18th Street Deli Julienne Salad,” “18th Street Deli Julienne Salad Lite,” and “Balanced Choice Julienne Salad Lite” that all bear the establishment number “P-22061” inside the USDA mark of inspection and expiration dates of “01/27/12” and “01/30/12.” The FSIS indicated that, when available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.
The problem was discovered when 18th Street Deli was notified by one of its suppliers that hard-cooked eggs, a product the FDA inspects, tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and were recalled by Michael Foods Egg Products Co. The julienne salads contain the recalled eggs and are the subject of this FSIS recall.
The agency and company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products; however, as we’ve routinely explained, the Listeria pathogen is unique because it tends to thrive in colder temperatures, such as those found in refrigerated environments and it also has an unusually long incubation period of up to 70 days, according to experts.
The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can also 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 prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriage and stillbirth; pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. And, listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.
Robert Guzzardo, head of Quality Assurance at the 18th Street Deli, can be reached at 1.313. 921.7710. 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.