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March 18, 1999

Media Communications Office
(202) 720-9113; FAX: (202) 690-0460
Contact: Liz Lapping
Elizabeth Gaston

Philadelphia Foods Recalls "Philly's Finest" Kosher Beef Frankfurters

WASHINGTON, DC (SafetyAlerts) - Philadelphia Foods, Incorporated, a Westville, NJ, processing firm, is voluntarily recalling 18 pounds of franks that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Subject to recall are 16-ounce packages of "Philly's Finest" Kosher Beef Frankfurters. The products have a "Sell-by" date of 5-07-99 on the back of the package, and bear "Est 1756l" in the U.S. Department of Agriculture seal.

The "Philly's Finest" products were distributed in southern New Jersey.

"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 monitoring program for Listeria monocytogenes.

No illnesses associated with consumption of the recalled product have been reported to FSIS. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician immediately.

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.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Marvin Raab at (609) 456-8700.

Consumers with questions about food safety may phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline is staffed from l0 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday, although recorded information is available 24 hours a day.