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New York Firm Recalls Ready-To-Eat Products for Possible Listeria Contamination

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2000--Levonian Brothers Inc., a Troy, N.Y., firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 19,000 pounds of various ready-to-eat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Random weight packages of ham, salami, roast beef, corned beef, and pastrami with a production date code of July 25 or July 26 and that bear "EST. 5065" inside the USDA seal of inspection are subject to recall. These products were distributed to delis and wholesalers.

Additionally, the following products with "EST. 5065" inside the USDA seal of inspection were distributed to retail stores and are also subject to Safety Recalls,

  • "Levonian" brand "OUR PREMIUM NATURAL CASING HOT DOGS," sold in one- and five-pound packages with "SELL BY SEP08" on the package;
  • "Levonian" brand "BEEF FRANKS", sold in one-pound packages, with "SELL BY "SEP08" on the package; and
  • "Top Round Roast Beef," sold in 12-ounce packages, with "SELL BY 8/24" on the package.

The products were distributed in Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we urge consumers to check to see if they have purchased the product," said Thomas J. Billy, FSIS administrator. "If they find the recalled products, consumers should not eat them, but return them to the point of purchase. Consumers may also wish to ask delis and restaurants if purchased products are subject to the recall."

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weak immune systems--infants, the frail or elderly, and persons with chronic disease, with HIV infection, or taking chemotherapy.

FSIS has received no reports of illness associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall may contact Rob Nazarian, president, Levonian Brothers Inc., at (518) 274-3610.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov

LISTERIA PRECAUTIONS

People at risk for listeriosis and their family members or individuals preparing food for them should:

Reheat until steaming hot the following types of ready-to-eat foods: hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented and dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry products. Thoroughly reheating food can help kill any bacteria that might be present. If you cannot reheat these foods, do not eat them.

Wash hands with hot, soapy water after handling these types of ready-to-eat foods. (Wash for at least 20 seconds.) Also wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils. Thorough washing helps eliminate any bacteria that might get on your hands or other surfaces from food before it is reheated.

Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined or Mexican-style cheese. You can eat hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt.

Do not drink raw, unpasteurized milk or eat foods made from it, such as unpasteurized cheese.

Observe all expiration dates for perishable items that are precooked or ready-to-eat.




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