Food Contamination Warning -
Possible Listeria In Meat Products
By Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
FORT LEE, Va. (AFPN) -- The Defense Commissary Agency is advising commissary shoppers to check their food stocks for potentially dangerous meat products, possibly contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The advisory comes after three suppliers to commissaries and civilian grocery stores voluntarily recalled their meat products.
Shoppers should check for meat packages bearing the imprint "EST P261" or "EST 6911." These products, produced by the Bill Mar Foods plant in Zeeland, Mich., include Ball Park, Bryan, Grillmaster, Hygrade and Mr. Turkey hot dogs; and Sara Lee Deli Meat and Sara Lee Home Roast brands luncheon meat.
Shoppers should also check for packages carrying the imprint "EST 13529" or "EST P-13529." The suspect products are frankfurters and lunch-combination products containing luncheon meats produced by the Thorn Apple Valley Company at its Forrest City, Ark., meat-processing plant. The products may not necessarily have the Thorn Apple Valley name since the company packages its products under many different brand names.
Oscar Meyer Foods Corporation, of Madison, Wis., voluntarily recalled 28,313 pounds of deli meat this month because it could possibly be contaminated with Listeria. Shoppers who purchased Oscar Meyer All-American Variety Pack, 10 oz, or Oscar Meyer Club Sandwich Variety Pack, 9 oz, should check their packages for the imprints, "EST 537A" and "EST P-1449." Additionally, the packages will have the date "JAN 12" in the upper left corner on the back.
Shoppers who find any of these products should return them to their commissary for a full refund. Products from these companies bearing different imprints are not affected and are not being recalled. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is monitoring these voluntary recalls.
Listeria infections can lead to serious illness, and in some circumstances, death. "According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outbreaks of Listeria bacteria from the contaminated Bill Mar meat products have killed 12 people and sickened 79 people in 17 different states," said Jack Moye, a DeCA food safety specialist. "So far there are no reported cases of food borne illness caused by the Thorn Apple Valley or Oscar Meyer products involved in the recall."