|WASHINGTON, May 12, 2000--Polks Meat Products, Inc., a Bay Springs,
Miss., firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 5,900 pounds of ready-to-eat smoked
sausage products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S.
Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today. |
products subject to recall are: "Polks" brand "Smoked Sausage"
made with pork, "Smoked Sausage" made with beef, and "Cajun Style Smoked
Sausage;" "Mississippi SAUSAGE;" "HICKORY HOLLOW FARMS" brand
"SMOKED SAUSAGE" made with pork; and "MAGNOLIA" brand "SMOKED
SAUSAGE." The labels bear "EST. 12647" inside the USDA mark of inspection
and "SELL BY JUN 30" is stamped on the package. The products were packaged in
one, two and a half, three, and five pound packages.
The products were packaged April 27 and distributed to retail stores in Mississippi,
Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Chicago, Ill.
"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we urge consumers to check their
refrigerators and freezers. If they find the recalled products, consumers should not eat
them, but return them to the point of purchase," said FSIS administrator Thomas J.
Consumers and media with questions about the recall may contact William Whittington,
manager, Polks Meat Products, Inc., at (601) 792-2044.
The problem was discovered through company testing. The company informed FSIS of its
test results and initiated a recall.
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 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.
NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov
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
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.