If there’s a time to splurge on delicious cured and cooked meats, it’s December. Who doesn’t love a sweet ham or a meaty charcuterie board to get you in the holiday mood? However, you always need to stay vigilant for a possible meat recall, and this week is no exception. If you bought ham or pepperoni recently, check your food label!
Alexander & Hornung, which is part of Purdue Premium Meat, recalled a whopping 234,000 pounds of cooked ham and pepperoni. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) announced the recall on Sunday, December 5, 2021.
Why did Alexander & Hornung issue a meat recall?
Alexander & Hornung’s ham and pepperoni products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a species of bacteria. It tends to grow in moist environments, soil, water, and decaying vegetation, as noted by the FDA. It can survive and even grow during refrigeration and food preservation. (Talk about scary!)
According to the CDC, Listeria monocytogenes in contaminated food can cause a serious infection known as listeriosis. It primarily causes symptoms in pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with a weakened immune system.
What are the symptoms of listeriosis?
The FDA states that symptoms of listeriosis can last from days to weeks. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. A person may also develop a headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and even convulsions. In some cases, listeriosis affects the bones, joints, and certain areas in the chest and abdomen.
The CDC notes that in people who are pregnant, the infection could result in a miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection in newborns. Symptoms usually crop up in one to four weeks after eating contaminated food.
Which ham and pepperoni products are recalled?
The FSIS issued two documents to help consumers identify products that may be contaminated – from spiral-sliced honey ham to five-star pepperoni. You should check these documents if you purchased ham or pepperoni from Alexander & Hornung, Wellshire, Garrett Valley Farms, Butcher Boy, Niman Ranch, or Open Nature.
For a list of product names with affected best by/sell by dates, click here. For pictures of meat labels, click here. And if you think you may have eaten contaminated food and you have symptoms, talk to a doctor immediately.