Saturday, May 14, 2011


The post on this blog with the most views, although it is only three months old, is "Foods Pregnant Women Should not Eat." There have been very few days when it has not headed the "most viewed" list, consistently beating out the other 140 or so posts. Some 600 people have read it. One of the items on the "beware list" in that post is the following:

• Deli meats, including hot dogs and salami, unless you re-heat them to a temperature of 165 degrees.

The reason is that there are frequent incidents of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in deli meats. This bacterium is a great survivor, and can even multiply in the refrigerator. Although with some people it may cause nothing more than a very mild illness, in about a fifth of cases this bacterium can be fatal. According to the CDC, about one third of Listeriosis cases occur during pregnancy. Although the disease rarely kills the pregnant woman herself, it can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth and infection of the newborn. The bacterium is also very dangerous for people with AIDS, and others with a weakened immune system.

Fast forward to the present and the U.S. food supply. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has just announced that Rose & Shore Meat Co., of Vernon, Calif., has recalled a number of its deli meat products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The recalled products include:

• "OLYMPIC GOLD BEEF PASTRAMI" with the lot number "20911" and a "04-05-11" pack date.
• "ROSE AND SHORE N.Y. STYLE PASTRAMI" with the lot number "20911" and a "04-05-11" pack date.
• "COOKED ANGUS ROAST BEEF" with lot number "20941" and a use by date of "05-17-11."
• "TOGO'S PASTRAMI" with the lot number "20911", a "04-05-11" pack date and a use by date of "05-23-11."

These products were all shipped in large boxes (with smaller packages inside) to distribution centers in California for further distribution to food service establishments in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The FDA reported that there have been no retail sales. Those who would have been exposed to these deli meats would be people eating in restaurants, delis, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and similar places that use such products. Apparently one of the food service clients asked the company to test the meat in response to a consumer complaint (obviously someone getting ill, since you can't smell or see the difference in the meat). And - there we are - the testing turned up Listeria monocytogenes.

To your good health,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The recall marked TOGO's, is that the Togo sandwich chain?