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Walmart Supplier Recalls Frozen Pizza Over Listeria Fears

17 March 2017, 5:01 am EDT By Allan Adamson Tech Times
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RBR Meat Company, a Walmart Stores supplier, recalled frozen pizzas sold in 11 states for potential contamination by the listeria monocytogenes, which cause listeriosis. The FSIS said some of the affected products may still be in consumers' freezers.

  ( Alex Wong | Getty Images )

A Walmart Stores supplier has issued recall of frozen pizzas sold in 11 U.S. states over fears of possible listeria contamination. About 6,700 pizzas sold under Walmart's Marketside brand were included in the recall.

Pizzas Recalled For Potential Contamination

RBR Meat Company recalled about 21,220 pounds of Marketside Extra Large Supreme Pizza that have been supplied to retail distribution centers located in Nevada, California, Washington, and Utah.

Walmart said that the pizzas were available in Washington state, Montana, Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, and Hawaii.

The affected products were produced on Feb. 23. They carry the lot code 20547 and establishment number "EST. 1821," which can be found inside the USDA mark of inspection.

"The following product is subject to recall: 50.6-oz. corrugated box containing 1 shrink wrapped 16" pizza labeled as 'Marketside Extra Large Supreme Pizza,' with lot code 20547," the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a statement released on March 15.

The FSIS said that some products may be frozen and may still be in consumers' freezers. It urged those who purchased the products to not consume them. Products subjected for recall should be returned to where they were purchased or thrown away.

No confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the affected products have been reported, but the problem was detected during routine sampling.

Listeriosis

Listeria is a food borne illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 1,600 people get listeriosis per year. About 260 of these cases are fatal.

CDC estimates that Listeria is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States. Earlier this month, six people from different states were brought to hospitals because of listeria infection. Vermont and Connecticut saw two fatalities linked to this food-borne outbreak.

Listeria infection tends to be more serious when it affects people with weak immune system, older adults, and pregnant women. Pregnant women and their newborns are at higher risk of getting a Listeria infection and the effect can be serious.

In a study published in February this year, researchers from Madison School of Veterinary Medicine found that Listeria pathogens can have adverse effect on the fetus during pregnancy. Infection may even cause miscarriage when this occurs in the early stages of pregnancy. Researchers urge pregnant women to avoid several food that may increase their risk for Listeriosis such as unpasteurized milk, raw sprouts, soft cheese, melon, and deli meats that were not carefully handled.

"Listeria is a harmful germ that can hide in many foods. Outbreaks of Listeria infections in the 1990s were primarily linked to deli meats and hot dogs. Now, Listeria outbreaks are often linked to dairy products and produce. Investigators have traced recent outbreaks to soft cheeses, celery, sprouts, cantaloupe, and ice cream," CDC said.

Pregnant women may experience fever and other flu-like symptoms due to infection. For those who are not pregnant, symptoms may include stiff neck, headache, confusion, loss of balance, fever, muscle aches, and convulsion.

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