News and Information
January 29, 1999
Thorn Apple Valley
Frankfurters And Lunch Combination Products Recalled For Potential Listeria Contamination
Editor's Note: The 800 number provided by the
Company has changed since this release was first posted.
WASHINGTON, DC (SafetyAlerts)
- Thorn Apple Valley's Forrest City, Arkansas meat processing plant is voluntarily
recalling all frankfurter and lunch combination products produced since July 6, 1998,
because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
All meat and poultry products bearing "EST
13529" or "EST P-13529," anywhere on the product package, are subject to
Based on information Thorn Apple Valley provided
to FSIS along with FSIS records, products produced at the plant that are being recalled
could include the lunch combinations (products containing various luncheon meats) and
frankfurters on the attached list.
The products were distributed nationwide and
shipped to foreign countries including South Korea and Russia.
"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.
On December 31, 1998, FSIS suspended operations at
Thorn Apple Valley based on the plant's non-compliance with pre-operational and
operational sanitation requirements. Operations at the plant remain suspended at this
From July 1998 to December 1998, FSIS collected 20
ready-to-eat product samples from the plant with five testing positive for Listeria
monocytogenes. None of the products from the lots testing positive were released into
commerce, and therefore consumers could not purchase them. However, based on these
repetitive findings, as well as conditions found in the plant, the agency concluded that
there may be a significant public health risk associated with the product being recalled.
At this point, FSIS does not have evidence linking
this product to the nationwide listeriosis outbreak, which is still under joint FSIS and
CDC investigation. Also at this point, no consumer illnesses have been linked to these
Consumption of food contaminated with the
bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially
serious 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 among
pregnant women, 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.
Those concerned about illnesses they suspect are
related to these products should contact their physicians immediately.
Consumers seeking information about the recall may
contact the company at 1-800-839-2427.
Consumers with food safety questions 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 and recorded information is available
24 hours a day.