Company: Johnston County Hams Inc.
Product: 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products
The country hams that some say are the quintessential dish of the South became, during this past weekend, suspects in a deadly listeriosis outbreak.
Four people, three in Virginia and one in North Carolina, have been confirmed as being infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. All four required hospitalization. One in Virginia died.
The public first learned of the outbreak on Oct. 3 when Johnson County Hams announced a recall of 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products.
Epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback evidence indicates that ham products from Johnston County Hams Inc. are the likely source of the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That finding led to at least three other food recall announcements by late Oct. 5,
The CDC said public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Listeria and other pathogens that have been isolated from ill people by using a technique called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC’s PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS performed on Listeria monocytogenes isolated from ill people showed that they were closely relatedly genetically. The CDC says this means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.
Callie’s Charleston Biscuits has recalled the last 17 months of its production of Cocktail Ham Biscuits and Country Hams Biscuits.
Ukrop Homestyle Foods has recalled 18,296 pounds total of its 12 different wraps, pinwheels and salads that contain the ham.
Ladyfinger Caterers has recalled all Signature Shaved Country Ham Rolls it has on the market.
At this point, the Callie’s, Ukrop, or Ladyfinger products have not caused any illnesses, but Johnson County Hams is one of their suppliers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said the Johnson County Ham recall was for production from April 3, 2017, through Oct. 2, 2018. The company shipped the ham to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia. The FSIS notice did not say whether the distributors sent the products to other states.
The recalled hams weigh between 7 and 8 pounds (3.1 kg and 3.6 kg) and have the establishment number “EST. M2646” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The CDC warns consumers, stores and restaurants not to eat, sell or serve recalled Johnson County Ham ready-to-eat products including:
In addition to its voluntary downstream recall, Charleston-based Callie’s Biscuits announced the bakery was changing ham suppliers. Owner Carrie Morey says the bakery is switching back to the Edwards Virginia Smokehouse, its ham purveyor until an Edwards fire two years ago.
Morey says her bakery has tossed the ham inventory from Johnson County Hams and sanitizing its kitchen. Ham used in making biscuits is also heated to a sufficient temperature to kill the pathogen. In her recall announcement, Morey said Callie’s had a plan in place “that we were hoping never to use,” but the business acted immediately “to ensure the safety of our customers.”
© Food Safety News
Company: Working Cow Homemade Ice Cream, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL
Product: No Sugar Added Vanilla and No Sugar Added Chocolate ice cream
Details: Any customers with this specific product on hand are asked to contact Working Cow for proper return and credit, Working Cow Headquarters at 877-320-2269, Mon-Fri between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM EDT. The no sugar added ice cream is packaged in plastic yellow three-gallon tubs marked with a label including product name and “born-on” date. The born-on date refers to the manufacturing date. Working Cow is working with 152 retail customers to recall the potentially affected products.
Regions: US/Florida (statewide) ice cream parlors, independent living facilities and restaurants
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Company: JBS Tolleson Inc. of Tolleson, AZ
Product: 6.9 million pounds of recalled ground beef and non-intact beef products
Details: Federal officials have begun releasing names of specific grocery stores and other businesses that received some of the 6.9 million pounds of recalled ground beef and non-intact beef products that are linked to a Salmonella Newport outbreak.
Regions: US/Nationwide (public health officials have confirmed that 57 people across 16 states have been infected)
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Public health officials have confirmed that 57 people across 16 states have been infected, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). JBS Tolleson Inc. of Tolleson, AZ, shipped the beef nationwide.
The recalled beef is packaged under a variety of names, including Showcase, which is sold by Walmart, and the Kroger brand. Other brands affected by the recall include:
JBS Tolleson initiated a recall Oct. 4. All of the recalled products had the establishment number “EST. 267” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection when JBS sold them, but portions of bulk quantities that were repackaged by retailers and other JBS customers likely do not have any establishment numbers.
The JBS records show the company shipped the beef to retail locations and institutions — such as schools, hospitals and other foodservice operations — nationwide, according to the FSIS. The country’s largest foodservice supplier, US Foods, is on the list of companies that bought the beef now under recall.
Yesterday the FSIS posted a partial list of specific stores that received the recalled ground beef and non-intact beef products. The agency will post more lists when investigators have determined additional store names and locations. As of Oct. 7 the retailer list included some locations of the following grocery stores:
A list of products shipped by JBS Tolleson that are included in the recall are listed on the FSIS website. Some are bulk packages that are not available to consumers.
Company records show JBS packaged the recalled beef products from July 26 through Sept. 7. There is concern that consumers, restaurants and institutional kitchens may have some of the implicated beef in freezers. Freezing temperatures do not kill Salmonella.
As of Oct. 4, eight of the infected patients had provided sales receipts or shopper loyalty card numbers that assisted outbreak investigators in their traceback efforts.
“FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners have now determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses. Traceback has identified JBS as the common supplier of the ground beef products,” according to the recall notice.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled beef and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms usually lasts 4 to 7 days in otherwise healthy adults. In some cases, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
Greeley, CO-based JBS USA is the American food processing company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., a Brazilian company that is the world’s largest beef producer.
JBS SA is the world’s largest protein producer. It has 36 Brazilian production facilities. The multi-national company has annual sales of more than $30 billion, of which half were generated by the JBS USA subsidiary, according to a 2017 financial report. It has a dozen feedlots in the U.S. and Canada with capacity for almost one million head. JBS USA also processes 90,000 hogs daily, and 6.6 million birds a day through its 25 Pilgrim’s Pride processing facilities.
A food safety bribery scheme in Brazil resulted in seven executives of JBS SA, including Chairman Joesley Batista, admitting to making illegal payments to Brazil’s three most recent presidents, including incumbent Michel Temer. In 2017 the seven executives negotiated a plea bargain with prosecutors and agreed to pay a fine of $225 million reals — $67.93 million in U.S. dollars.
© Food Safety News