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Listeria contaminated Turkeys and Ham Recalled

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a statement that Ohio-based HoneyBaked Foods Inc. is recalling their turkey and ham products voluntarily due to suspected contamination by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

The 47,000 pounds of contaminated products were produced between September 5 and November 13, 2006. They were sold through online shopping, catalogues and retail outlets in four Toledo locations (Merger Drive in Holland and at The Andersons in Toledo, Maumee and on Woodville Road).

Products include packages of sliced & glazed fully cooked whole ham, sliced and glazed fully cooked smoked boneless turkey breast, sliced and glazed cooked boneless turkey breast, and sliced & glazed fully cooked half ham.

The deadly Listeria bacterium is known to cause “listeriosis” in individuals with weak resistance to infection. The severity of the disease varies with age, health condition and site of infection. The disease is usually common in elderly people, children and those with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients and HIV carriers.

Pregnant women are also warned about the dangers of Listeria-contaminated meat products. The bacteria may cause mild illness to these pregnant women but can be fatal to the unborn child.

Early signs of the disease include high fever, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, stiff neck and a dark, reddish rash over the trunk and legs. If not detected and treated immediately, the bacteria can further cause circulatory collapse, heart inflammation, enlarged liver and spleen and shock. These serious complications can eventually lead death.

Treatment usually includes injection of antibiotics.

USDA also included in their statement a public warning confirming the high-risk to human health. Fortunately, there are no reports of any person suffering from illnesses due to consumption of the contaminated meat products.

For more details, you can call 1-800-461-3998.