October 26, 1999
Recall of Sabrett and Western Beef Skinless Beef
East Rutherford, N.J. (SafetyAlerts) - The U.S. Department of
Agriculture today announced that Marathon Enterprises, Inc., is voluntarily recalling all
of its skinless beef frankfurters produced at one of its three plants because the
frankfurters may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
The plant where these products were produced is
Establishment 8854, in the Bronx, N.Y. These products were distributed nationwide.
The recall has now been expanded to include All
16-oz. and five-pound packages of "Sabrett" brand Skinless Beef Frankfurters and
"Western Beef" brand Skinless Beef Frankfurters with "EST 8854" inside
the USDA seal of inspection.
Today's action is an expansion of an earlier recall of these
products. On Oct. 13, the firm began voluntarily recalling approximately 52,000
pounds of franks suspected of being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes
bacteria. Subsequent testing by the company of product from other production dates
prompted the firm to expand the recall today.
After samples collected and analyzed
by the company returned positive results, Marathon Enterprises, Inc., initiated recall
actions and immediately notified USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The plant
involved, located in the Bronx, N.Y., closed voluntarily on Oct. 14. No additional product
has been produced at or shipped from the plant since then.
"Because of the potential of
foodborne illness, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it,
but to return it to the point of purchase," said FSIS administrator Thomas J. Billy.
Consumption of food contaminated with
Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal
disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause 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, with HIV
infection, or taking chemotherapy.
Currently, there is no definitive
evidence that links any illnesses to this product. However, FSIS is working with the
Centers for Disease Control and the involved states in investigating whether there is a
link between this product and a listeriosis outbreak in areas where this product has been
distributed. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician immediately.
Consumers or media with questions
about the recall can call Ralph Morano of Marathon Enterprises, Inc., at 1-800-722-7388,
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