Deli sandwiches recalled

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On the heels of a massive egg recall, a major retailer is issuing warnings about its “grab-and-go” deli meat sandwiches.

Zemco Industries, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based establishment, is recalling about 380,000 pounds of deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products were distributed to delis where they were processed into sandwiches and eventually sold in Walmart stores as “Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches.”

The problem was discovered in a retail sample collected in Georgia that tested positive for the bacteria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has received no reports of illness associated with the product.

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“We have initiated a thorough review of our operations to ensure protocol is followed and meat produced there is safe for consumption,” said Gary Mickelson, director of media relations for Tyson Foods.

The specific sandwiches involved in the recall are:

Black Forest Ham with natural juices coated with caramel color — number 17800 1300.

Hot Ham, Hard Salami, Pepperoni, Sandwich Peppers — number 17803 1300.

Virginia Brand Ham with natural juices, Made in New York, Fully Cooked Bacon, Sandwich Pickles, Sandwich Peppers — number 17804 1300.

Angus Roast Beef coated with caramel color — number 17805 1300.

The sandwiches are marketed as Ham and Swiss, Italian Hero, Smokehouse Hero and Roast Beef and Cheddar sandwiches.

The packages also bear vendor number 398412808 and the USDA mark of inspection. The meat products were produced between June 18 and July 2, and have use-by dates ranging from Aug. 20 to Sept. 10.

Consumers who have bought the product should either discard it or return it to the store for a full refund, according to a Walmart statement.

“The safety of customers is a top priority at Walmart, and that includes offering safe, high quality foods at the most affordable prices,” the statement issued Tuesday said. “Upon learning of a voluntary recall conducted by our supplier Zemco Industries, Inc., of supermarket deli sandwich meat used in select Marketside Grab and Go deli sandwiches, we took action. We immediately instructed stores to remove the impacted product from stores.”

Listeria monocytogenes can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea, as well as more serious complications such as stillbirths and miscarriages. In addition, those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy, are at risk for more serious complications. Anyone concerned they have become ill should contact their health care provider.