Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heightened Awareness Produces Another Canadian Meat Recall

In what appears to be a full court press against Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued another Health Hazard Alert this morning.

Mariposa Meats (Mississauga, ON) is recalling Old Style brand Thin Sliced Honey Ham, sold in 450 g packages bearing a Best Before date of 08NO17 (November 17, 2008) and UPC 6 28292 50001 7. The recalled meat was sold only in Price Chopper stores in Ontario.

Listeria monocytogenes has been a major focus of CFIA activity ever since the deadly Maple Leaf outbreak this summer. At last count (October 17th), ready-to-eat meats from Maple Leaf's Bartor Road production facility was responsible for 53 confirmed cases of listeriosis – 20 of them fatal.

Typically, an infection with Listeria monocytogenes produces no more than mild flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms. But, as Canadians found out this summer, the elderly, very young children, and immuno-compromised individuals may suffer severe – even fatal – symptoms as a result of an infection with this microbe. Pregnant women who become infected may pass the infection to the fetus in utero, resulting in premature birth, stillbirth or a seriously ill newborn.

Anyone who has eaten the recalled product and begins to experience any symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes infection, should contact his or her family doctor. Consumers who purchased the recalled meat should return it to the store for a refund. For more information about this recall, contact Mariposa Meats at 905-855-8111.

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