The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service ordered a recall of 89,000 pounds of ham products from Johnston County Hams of Smithfield, North Carolina, after it was found listeria contamination which led to one death and three illnesses.
The hams weigh between 7 and 8 pounds (3.1 kg and 3.6 kg) and have number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA inspection mark. The ready-to-eat ham was produced between April 3, 2017, and Oct. 2, 2018 and shipped to distributors in North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Maryland and Virginia. The ham products were plastic-wrapped and carried one of five different labels including "Johnson County Hams Inc., Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham," "Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked," and "Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. Fully Cooked Country Ham Boneless Glazed with Brown Sugar."
Listeriosis is a serious infection typically caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria can cause serious infections, especially among older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and their newborns. Symptoms of infection include fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion and gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die, according to the CDC. Consumers who bought the products should not eat them and, instead, should throw them away or return them to the store where they were purchased.