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News and Information
February 5, 1999


Media Communications Office
(202) 720-3897; FAX: (202) 690-0460
Contact: Liz Lapping
Linda Swacina

Regio Brand Mortadella Cooked Sausage Recalled

WASHINGTON, DC (SafetyAlerts) - Principal Marques, an Entobicoke, Ontario meat processing firm, is voluntarily recalling about 456 pounds of cooked sausage that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Subject to recall are approximately one pound packages (chubs) of the Regio Brand Mortadella cooked sausage. The packages are marked with the identifying code "Best Before 99Mar22" on the label. In addition, packages bear establishment number 225 in the Canada inspection mark.

The product was packaged on December 22, 1998, and distributed only in the Milwaukee, Chicago, and Miami areas.

"Because of the potential of foodborne illness, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it and to return it to the point of purchase," said Margaret Glavin, associate administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FSIS discovered the problem through its routine import monitoring program for Listeria monocytogenes.

At this point, FSIS has no evidence linking this product to the nationwide listeriosis outbreak, which is still under joint FSIS and CDC investigation.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. The most common manifestation of listeriosis is meningitis, which has symptoms of high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems--infants, the frail or elderly, and persons with chronic disease, HIV infection, or taking chemotherapy for cancer.

Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician immediately.