July 9, 2012

USDA Issues Recall Of Frozen Meat, Poultry

A New Jersey company issued a recall of more than 300,000 pounds of frozen meat due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced over the weekend.

Bridgeton, New Jersey-based Buona Vita issued the nationwide recall of 324,770 pounds of meatballs, dinner loafs, burger patties, and other goods Saturday after the possible contamination was discovered through microbiological testing at the company's Ohio plant, the Associated Press (AP) has reported.

The affected brands are Silver Lake Brand, Argentina Pride, Dirusso, Buona Vita and Mama Isabella products with the establishment number "P-954" or "Est. 954" inside the USDA mark of inspection and production dates of May 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9, the wire service added. A complete list of the affected goods is available online on the FSIS website.

The ready-to-eat products were sold to distribution facilities across the country, and to date there have been no reports of illness associated with the recall, according to Lily Kuo of Reuters .

To avoid Lysteria contamination, the FSIS recommends that individuals should wash their hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds both before and after handling raw meat and poultry, as well as thoroughly clean cutting boards, dishes, and utensils.

They also advise consumers to keep raw meat, poultry and fish products away from any food that will not be cooked, and to use precooked or ready-to-eat food as quickly as possible, as it is possible for the bacteria to grow in a refrigerator.

"Listeria bacteria thrive in low temperatures. Outbreaks are usually associated with deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses and smoked refrigerated seafood products," Kuo said.

"Listeriosis has a long incubation period, with symptoms sometimes not showing up until two months after people consume tainted foods," she added. "Symptoms include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea and other gastric problems."