Large scale meat recalls continue

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Daniele International Inc., which has operations in Pascoag and Mapleville, R.I., is recalling approximately 1,240,000 lbs of ready-to-eat varieties of Italian sausage products, including salami, on fears they may be contaminated with Salmonella. The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall on Jan. 23.

The company also is recalling all products containing black pepper, which may be a possible source of contamination. The F.S.I.S. became aware of the situation during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of illnesses related to Salmonella Montevideo being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Daniele recall followed isolation of Salmonella in a private laboratory from a retail sample of a salami product produced by the company. The F.S.I.S. reviewed and affirmed the laboratory results.

The Salmonella strain is different from the strains causing the outbreak that is at the heart of the C.D.C. investigation. In addition, the product was different than the sliced salami variety pack purchased at different grocery stores by 11 ill persons who are part of the C.D.C. investigation.

The C.D.C. has been tracking the outbreak since July 2009. Since then, 187 people from 39 states have become ill due to the Salmonella Montevideo pathogen. While the investigation continues, a link to the illnesses has yet to be definitively identified.

During Jan. 16-21, the C.D.C. and public health officials in multiple states conducted an epidemiologic study by comparing foods eaten by 39 ill and 39 well persons. Preliminary analysis of the data has suggested salami as a possible source of illness. Ill persons (51%) were significantly more likely than well persons (15%) to report eating salami. Additionally, 11 ill persons have been identified who purchased the same type of sliced salami variety pack at different grocery stores before becoming ill. The data suggest the product may be the source of some of the illnesses.

On Jan. 18, Huntington Meat Packing Inc., Montebello, Calif., recalled approximately 864,000 lbs of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The problem was discovered during a Food Safety Assessment (F.S.A.) by the F.S.I.S. The F.S.A. led to the determination that a further investigation of establishment records was warranted. The investigation is ongoing.

The agency also emphasized that it has received no reports of illnesses related to the consumption of the Huntington Meat Packing products subject to the recall. FSM
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