Industry News | August 8, 2008

Ready-to-Eat Sandwiches Recalled

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The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday night the Class 1 recall of 285 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken sandwiches from DBC Inc that might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes in Massachusetts. Customers who bought the products from retailers between July 31, 2008, and August, 2, 2008, are urged to discard them immediately.

The following products are subject to recall:

• 80-ounce cases of “Progressive Gourmet Buffalo Chicken Roller Sandwich,” Each package bears the establishment number “EST. P-31566” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as a “SELL BY” date of “8/2/08” and Case Code of “8500WRAS.”

• 80-ounce cases of “Progressive Gourmet Chicken Caesar Roller Sandwich.” Each package bears the establishment number “EST. P-31566” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as a “SELL BY” date of “8/2/08” and Case Code of “8500WRCA.”

• 80-ounce cases of “Progressive Gourmet Honey Turkey w/Baby Spinach Roller Sandwich.” Each package bears the establishment number “EST. P-31566” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as a “SELL BY” date of “8/2/08” and Case Code of “8500WRTU.”

The FSIS discovered the potential Listeria contamination after taking a microbiological sampling of the products. Roger Sockman, a spokesman for USDA, says it is standard for products to be tested and that the company was notified quickly. "We issued a recall notice and we worked with the company on a conference call and they agreed that it would be voluntary on their part," Sockman says. DBC Inc was given a list of potentially contaminated products by the USDA.

Plant manager Jim Palmariello does not have an exact number as to how many sandwiches made it into consumers' hands, but no illnesses have been reported.

Despite that, the organization issued the highest degree of recalls for the products. According to the FSIS, Class 1 recalls are reserved for “situations where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

According to officials, consuming the contaminated food could lead to listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. While healthy people rarely contract listeriosis, the disease can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weak immune systems such as infants, the elderly, persons with HIV, or those undergoing chemotherapy. “Infection can spread to the nervous system, resulting in high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea, confusion, and convulsions,” the FSIS Web site reports.

—Blair Chancey