News and Information
February 17, 1999
Media Communications Office
(202) 720-3897; FAX: (202) 690-0460
Contact: Liz Lapping
Ba Le Meat Processing &
Wholesale Recalls Headcheese for Listeria
WASHINGTON, (SafetyAlerts) - Ba Le Meat Processing & Wholesale,
Inc., a Chicago firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 2,600 pounds of headcheese
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 to one and
2 pound and 8-pound packages of "Ba Le Gio Thu (Headcheese)." Headcheese is a
seasoned loaf made of the head meat of a calf or pig in its natural aspic. The packages
bear "Est 18442" in the U. S. Department of Agriculture inspection mark.
The product was produced between January 7 and
February 5, 1999, and distributed to Asian specialty stores in the following areas:
Philadelphia; New York; Chicago; Houston; Austin,Texas; Garland, Texas; Rochester, Minn.;
Raleigh, N.C.; Oakland, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Coral
Springs, Fla.; Silver Spring, Md.; Dorchester, Mass.; and Doraville, Ga.
"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 Thomas J. Billy, administrator of USDA's
Food Safety and Inspection Service.
FSIS discovered the problem through its routine
monitoring program for Listeria monocytogenes.
At this point, FSIS has received no reports of
illness associated with this product. Also, FSIS has no evidence linking this product to
the recent nationwide listeriosis outbreak, which is still under joint FSIS and CDC
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 weak immune systems--infants, the frail or elderly, and
persons with chronic disease, HIV infection, or undergoing chemotherapy.
Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a
Consumers with questions about food safety or the
recall may phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The
hotline is staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, although
recorded information is available 24 hours a day.