Hot on the heels of a 400 million egg recall for eggs tainted with Salmonella comes a deli meat recall for lunch meat products tainted with Listeria.
Late yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a recall of 380,000 pounds of deli meats sold nationwide at Walmart stores. The recalled deli meat is tainted with Listeria, a bacteria for particular to concern for anyone with a compromised or reduced immune function, the elderly, and pregnant women.
Listeria infection, listeriosis, is a relatively uncommon food borne illness, which may show with mild or even no symptoms. Symptoms may include chills, fever, muscle pain and gastrointestinal upset. It is successfully treated with antibiotics. Pasteurization and sufficient cooking kills listeria, however, contamination may occur in our food factories after cooking and prior to packaging-as in the case of deli meats.
The tainted deli meat under recall is produced by Bufallo, NY, company Zemco Industries, but that is not the name printed on the recalled deli meat. Look for vendor number 398412808 on deli mat products purchase in Walmart nationwide.
The products under recall are the Marketside Grab and Go sandwich range with use by dates ranging between August 20 and September 10.
No illness has yet been reported related to this recent deli meat recall.
Add this deli meat recall, however, to a recent recall of over 400 million eggs for salmonella contamination and you have consumers wondering just how safe our food is. Anecdotal evidence suggests that consumers are turning away from mass produced factory foods towards local and farmer’s market based product.
The recent egg recall has seen consumers lining up at Farmers Markets to purchase eggs. These products may have a slightly higher price tag, but with one recall after another from large scale producers implies there is a hidden cost to our ‘cheap’ mass produced foods.
That cheap lunch deli meat isn’t so cheap once you add the productivity loss and health care costs of a day or days spent ill.
The high incidence of recalls also makes consumers question the USDA seal of freshness proudly stamped on our mass produced food products, making the food consumer’s only real choice to educate themselves on the source of their foods.
If you’d like some food for thought on the food industry, watch the documentary Food, Inc.
MSNBC with full recalled product names and numbers
Wikipedia – Listeria
Egg recall drives worried Customers to Farmers Markets