HoneyBaked Hams and Turkeys Recalled; May Be Contaminated With Listeria

TOLEDO -- HoneyBaked Foods of Toledo announced a voluntary recall Wednesday of some of its HoneyBaked Hams and Sliced & Glazed Turkeys. The recall covers products purchased from September 5th through November 13th at its retail location at 6145 Merger drive in Toledo -- and at three kiosks in Andersons stores in Toledo, Maumee and Northwood.

The recall also applies to HoneyBaked Foods Hams and Sliced & Glazed Turkeys delivered to catalog customers from its Holland, Ohio, production and distribution facility.

According to the company, during routine ham product testing conducted at HoneyBaked Foods in Holland it was determined that there is a risk that certain products may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.

HoneyBaked has received no customer complaints of illness related to its products.

If you purchased any of these HoneyBaked products in the timeframe of concern, check the label code on the bottom right of the product label. Ham codes include 6261 through 6310. Sliced & Glazed Turkey Breast Codes include 6248 through 6258.

HoneyBaked Foods is reaching out to its customers in stores, on-line, and via local media -- to contact those who purchased the product in the four Toledo-area retail locations. They're also contacting by e-mail and telephone each recipient of a potentially affected product shipped from the Holland production and distribution facility.

You can verify whether a product purchased via catalog or on-line is affected by calling 1-800-461-3998. Affected customers will receive a full refund and HoneyBaked Foods will arrange to pick up any unused portion of the product.

After extensive product and environmental testing conducted in conjunction with the USDA in the Holland processing facility and at the retail locations, HoneyBaked Foods has resumed production in that facility.

People who eat food infected with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria get the disease known as Listeriosis. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2,500 people get sick with listeriosis each year, and of those, 500 will die.

A CDC fact sheet on listeriosis says the symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrintestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.

Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarraige or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn.

In the United States, an estimated 2,500 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year. Of these, 500 die.

At greatest risk are:

  • Pregnant women -- They are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. About one-third of listeriosis cases happen during pregnancy.
  • Newborns -- Newborns rather than the pregnant women themselves suffer the serious effects of infection in pregnancy.
  • Persons with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients, diabetics, or kidney disease patients.
  • Persons with AIDS -- They are almost 300 times more likely to get listeriosis than people with normal immune systems.
  • Persons who take glucocorticosteroid medications
  • The elderly -- Healthy adults and children occasionally get infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill.

The Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is found in soil and water. Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer. Animals can carry the bacterium without appearing ill and can contaminate foods of animal origin such as meats and dairy products.

The bacterium has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts at the deli counter. Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk may contain the bacterium.

Here are recommendations to reduce your risk:

  • Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry.
  • Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating.
  • Keep uncooked meats separate from vegetables and from cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk.
  • Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods.
  • Consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.

Recommendations for persons at high risk, such as pregnant women and persons with weakened immune systems, in addition to the recommendations listed above:

  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Avoid getting fluid from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces, and wash hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats, and deli meats.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela, unless they have labels that clearly state they are made from pastuerized milk.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pâtés and meat spreads may be eaten.
  • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna or mackerel, is most often labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." The fish is found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens. Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.

On the Web:
CDC Fact Sheet on Listeriosis:

Posted by PJS