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June 2, 1998

Venetian Meat and Salami Co. Recalls Canadain Dry Sausage for E. coli O157:H7

HAMILTON, ONT. (SafetyAlerts) - A Canadian dry sausage maker, Venetian Meat and Salami Company Ltd. is voluntarily recalling its products from distribution in the United States because the product may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and linked to an outbreak of foodborne illness in Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The recalled Venetian brand dry fermented sausage was distributed in the Chicago and New York City areas, New Jersey, and northern Pennsylvania. FSIS compliance officers are checking import and distribution records to determine the total amount.

Venetian is recalling all dry fermented meat products under the Venetian Brand name with codes 300 to 363 and 004 to 047, and Canadian Establishment Number 222 on the labels. The codes represent the Julian calendar dates of production in Canada, which were from October 27, 1997 to February 17, 1998.

Venetian Brand and Crown Eagle Brand dry fermented meat products included in the recall are as follows: Tsar Brand Dry Salami, Genoa Salami, Genoa Chub, Salametti, Sopressata (semi-hot), Abruzzo Sopressata,Salami Nostsrani (small), Casalingo (long), Casalingo (1/2 V.P), Calabrese (flat), Siciliana (flat), Calabrese (large, flat), Coppa Large Dry Cured, Cacciatore (sweet), and Cacciatore (hot). Any of these products without product codes are also included in the recall.

"Because of the potential hazard of foodborne disease from consumption of uncooked dry fermented sausage contaminated with pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, consumers who may have purchased these dry fermented products should return them to the place of purchase," said Margaret Glavin, acting administrator of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Agriculture Canada tested Venetian dry sausage product following reports of consumption linked to 33 illnesses in which victims reportedly ate Venetian product. Agriculture Canada notified USDA Tuesday that the Canadian company voluntarily recalled the product after a government test was positive for the E. coli O157:H7 organism.

Consumers with questions about the recall may phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The Hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.