A New Jersey food company is recalling more than a ton of frozen meatballs packaged under the Sam's member's "Member's Mark" brand name due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
Rich Products Corp. of Vineland, NJ, sent the ready-to-eat meatballs to distributors in nine states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The withdrawal notice did not indicate if those distributors sent the meatballs removed to other states.
Because the 3,420 pounds of meatballs removed have such a long shelf life, federal and company officials urge consumers to mark any Member's Brand. Brand-name meatballs they have on hand, according to the notice posted on Wednesday by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
"FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may freeze and freeze in consumers," according to the recall notice. "Consumers who purchased these products are urged not to consume them, these products must be discarded or returned to the place of purchase."
Consumers can identify the removed meatballs by searching for the following label information:
- "Meatballs of Italian-style meat Mark Casa Di Bertacchi "in 6-pound plastic bags;
- "Better if used on December 17, 2018" date code;
- Lot code of 15507351; and
- Establishment number "EST 5336" printed within the USDA mark of inspection.
Rich Products shipped the frozen meatballs, which were produced on December 17, 2017, in 36-pound boxes of six 6-pound bags.
"The problem was discovered on January 24, when FSIS received a notification from the company that they had sent adulterated products to trade," according to the recall notice, which did not include any information about how the company was at as much of the possible contamination.
Anyone who has eaten any of the Mark's meatballs from the member and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and inform their doctors about possible exposure to the pathogen.
It may take up to 70 days after exposure for the symptoms of Listeria infection to develop. Consequently, people who have eaten the meatballs removed should be monitored for symptoms of listeriosis during the next few weeks.
Symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and seizures, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. In severe cases, the infection becomes invasive and spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
Older adults, young children and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, people with HIV / AIDS and organ transplant recipients are susceptible to serious diseases, sometimes fatal infections. In addition, in pregnant women, the infection can cause spontaneous abortions, intrauterine fetal death, premature births or potentially deadly newborn infections. The pathogen can cross the placenta and infect developing fetuses.
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