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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
Pager: 800-759-8888
Pin 895-3573

Hempler's Franks and Weiners Recalled

WASHINGTON, DC (SafetyAlerts) - B. B. Meat & Sausage Co. Inc., a Bellingham, Washington, meat processing firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 1,500 pounds of franks and knockwurst 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 the following products:

  • Hempler's Bun Buster Franks Sell-by: "3-18-99"

  • Hempler's Old Fashioned Weiners Sell-by: "3-18-99"

  • Hempler's Cooked Bockwurst Sell-by: "3-04-99"

The packages bear "Est 6410" in the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection mark. The products were packaged on January 2l, 1999, and distributed to consumers in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

"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. Glavin also urged consumers to check their refrigerators and freezers for the product.

FSIS discovered the problem through its routine 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.

Consumers with questions about the recall may phone the B. B. Meat & Sausage Co. at 360-734-5330 for additional information.