Not to be dramatic, but you probably shouldn’t serve a spiral-glazed ham for Christmas this year. Not smoked ham either, nor an applewood smoked ham, not even a fully cooked spiral sliced honey ham, and nope, not a boneless ham with water added. Those are just a few of the pork products that are being recalled all across the country, due to listeria contamination. The USDA has announced one of the most massive recalls in recent history—it includes more than two million pounds of pork, including two dozen types of ham and multiple pepperoni products.
The pork was distributed, and subsequently recalled, by Alexander & Hornung, a unit of Perdue Premium Meat Company based in Michigan. The products made their way onto the shelves of grocery stores including Big Y and Whole Foods.
With such a wide range of products, the sell-by and best-by dates range from December 10th, 2021 through May 24th, 2022 with the majority of products with dates in January 2022 and February 2022. The recalled pork products have an establishment number “EST. M10125” inside the USDA mark of inspection on their labels. So far, the following brands are the only ones included in this recall: Alexander & Hornung, Amish Country Fresh Brand, Amish Valley, Big Y, Butcher Boy, Five Star, Food Club, Garrett Valley Farms, Lancaster Brand, Niman Ranch, Open Nature, and Wellshire. Basically, if you have any kind of pork in the fridge, you should check the label to make sure that it’s not potentially contaminated.
This recall is a significant expansion of an earlier recall that was announced in early December; at that time, approximately 200,000 pounds of pork products were recalled due to listeria contamination. The problem was discovered when Alexander & Hournug notified the Food Safety and Inspection Service, a branch within the USDA, that a random product sampling tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
At this time, no one has reported any illnesses related to these pork products, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear just yet; listeria symptoms can take up to 70 days to appear—that’s ten weeks from initial exposure. Healthy individuals who contract Listeria are most likely to experience diarrhea and a fever, whereas anyone with a compromised immune system or pregnant women may feel muscle aches, have a fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions.
If you have one or more of these pork products, food safety experts urge you to dispose of them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
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