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Food Safety and Inspection Service
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700

News and Information
FSIS-98-RC-14

 

Media Communications Office
(202) 720-9113; FAX: (202) 690-0460
Contact: Steve Lombardi
Jacque Knight

SAVOIE'S CAJUN DRESSING MIX RECALLED FOR SALMONELLA

   Washington, September 22, 1998--Savoie's Sausage & Food Products, Inc., an Opelousas, La, food processing firm is voluntarily recalling about 500,000 pounds of frozen "Savoie's Dressing Mix" because of possible Salmonella contamination, the U. S. Department of Agriculture announced today.

    "Real Cajun! SAVOIE'S Dressing Mix" is a regional ground pork and chicken product in gravy consumers usually prepare with rice. All one-pound uncoded packages of the product are being recalled. Coded products subject to recall have a 4-digit number stamped on the side of the container with the first 3 digits from "195" to "258" and with "8" as the last digit. (Codes range from 1958 to 2588 but always end in "8".) "EST. 13346" appears inside the USDA inspection seal on the product label. No other product is affected by the recall.

    The product was distributed to retail food stores in the following 9 states: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

    The problem was discovered after product served at an August 15 wedding in Louisiana was linked to 62 illnesses, with 9 persons admitted to a hospital for fever and diarrhea. Product samples and stool isolates tested positive for Salmonella. USDA requested the recall after learning of laboratory confirmation of Salmonella by Louisiana state epidemiologists.

    "Because of the potential foodborne illness hazard, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product to return it to the place of purchase," said Thomas J. Billy, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "USDA is informing the public so consumers who may have purchased and stored this product can check their freezers," said Billy.

    Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a potentially serious disease. Those with weakened immune systems--infants, young children, the elderly, and the chronically ill--are easily susceptible, but anyone can be affected. Symptoms of salmonellosis include the sudden onset of flu-like symptoms such as stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea, chills, fever, and headache.

    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.