Posted on August 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM
Wednesday, Aug 25 at 7:43 AM
First it was eggs. Now some deli meats are being recalled as potential health risks. The deli meats were used in prepackaged sandwiches. Those sandwiches have been pulled off store shelves at Walmarts around the country.
The plant where the offending product may have originated is Zemco Industries in Buffalo, New York. They’re recalling 380,000 pounds of meat that may be contaminated with bacteria called listeria. It’s a common, naturally-occurring bug that can spread in food that has been mishandled.
“The listeria bacterium is very crafty about figuring out how to escape our own immune system,” explained Dr. Miguel Fernandez, a professor of emergency medicine and toxicology at the U.T. Health Science Center in San Antonio and director of the South Texas Poison Center.
Fernandez said the young, the sick and the elderly are most at risk for listeria complications. “They could develop high fever, neck pain and stiffness. They could get meningitis. It can be fatal.”
The good news is that no one was sickened by the deli meats used in pre-packaged sandwiches called Marketside Grab and Go sold nationwide in Walmarts. The company said today anyone who recently purchased this item can return it for a full refund.
Fernandez said this is a case where USDA food inspections may have prevented a lot of unnecessary illness. “So it does testify to the fact that good government regulation to protect consumers, in this case, can really be beneficial.”
Walmart stressed that no individual packages of deli meat are involved in the recall.