Recently Hannaford’s Markets recalled three meatball products due to possible Lysteria monocytogenes contamination. The three products, all of which are sold in the deli department, are:
- Homestyle Meatballs with Sauce
- Meatball Panini (cold)
- Meatball Panini (hot)
Hannaford has stores throughout New England, including locations inMassachusetts,New Hampshire andVermont. All three products are manufactured by Buona Vita, Inc. (Buono Vita).
According to a statement by Buono Vita (PDF download), which is based in Bridgetown, New Jersey, the company decided to voluntarily recall approximately 324,770 pounds of various frozen, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products due to possible Listeria contamination. The potential contamination was discovered through microbiological testing done by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) at a catering operation in Ohio. A full list of the recalled meats can be found on the USDA’s site.
Symptoms of a Listeria infection include fever, stiff neck, confusion, weakness, vomiting, sometimes preceded by diarrhea. Certain infected persons can also develop septicemia or meningitis. While exposure to Listeria may not result in any infection for healthy people, older adults, pregnant women, those with a weakened immune systems, organ transplant patients, as well as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, end stage renal disease and diabetes are particularly at risk for the infection.
According to Buono Vita, Inc. there have been no reports of injuries or illnesses in connection with this contamination. The incubation period for the disease can, however, be as much as 70 days. As a result, it is still possible that consumers could manifest symptoms of Listeriosis. Fortunately, Buono Vita is proactively working with the FSIS to protect public health by:
- quickly identifying the potentially contaminated meat;
- rapidly initiating a voluntary recall; and
- working effectively with the FSIS to protect consumers against further infection.
Now, Buono Vita must work to identify the source of the Lysteria monocytogenes contamination. Identification of the source will allow Buono Vita to implement measures aimed at the prevention of any future occurrences and attempt to restore consumer confidence. In addition, it will also allow Buono Vita to determine whether the contamination was caused by the food handling practices of another entity, such as a supplier to Buono Vita, which may allow it to recover the costs associated with the recall.