Check Your Fridge: 234,000 Pounds of Pork Products Recalled

by Jennifer Shea

Check your fridges, pork lovers. Nearly 235,000 pounds of fully cooked ham and pepperoni products from grocery stores may contain listeria, a Perdue subsidiary revealed this past weekend.

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall by Michigan-based Alexander & Hornung. The company had concerns about the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which causes serious infection that can lead to death.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, stiff neck, muscle aches, loss of balance, and diarrhea or gastrointestinal discomfort. Doctors can treat it with antibiotics if they catch it quickly. Most at risk are those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women, and newborns.

“There have been no illnesses or complaints associated with the products, and there is no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment,” Alexander & Hornung said in a statement. However, the company said it initiated the voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

The recall includes 17 products. They run the gamut from wood smoked ham to glazed spiral-sliced honey ham to applewood smoked uncured ham to pepperoni. So you can look at the USDA mark of inspection (“EST. M10125”) to see if your pork products are problematic. Moreover, the sell-by dates on the relevant products range from December 2021 to May 2022.

Find a list of affected products here. Also, you can look at graphics showing the labels of affected products here.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Announced Pork Recall

Meanwhile, the USDA became aware of the problem after the company informed them that product sampling had turned up positive results for the bacterium. So the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Sunday urged consumers to throw away any recalled pork products in their refrigerators.

“These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide,” FSIS warned in a statement. Therefore, “consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.”

The contaminated product may have been purchased at grocery stores under Alexander & Hornung’s brand. Otherwise, consumers may have bought the tainted meat from private labels such as Wellshire, Butcher Boy, Garrett Valley Farms, Food Club, Niman Ranch, Open Nature, Big Y or Five Star.

Toss those items out or return them to the place of purchase, the FSIS advised. If you believe you have consumed listeria-contaminated meat and are experiencing symptoms like those listed above, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What’s more, if you have further questions about food safety, you can call the USDA toll-free by dialing their Meat and Poultry Hotline. It’s 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). They also offer an Ask USDA live chat if you’d like to ask a question of the agency. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.