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Texas firm recalls ready to eat pork products

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2013--Stallings Head Cheese Co., Inc., a Houston, Texas establishment, is recalling 4,700 pounds of hog head cheese that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The following products are subject to recall:

10-oz. packages of “Richard’s Hog Head Cheese” bearing establishment number "EST. 2257" inside the USDA mark of inspection and sell by dates “Use by 2 1 2013” or “Use by 3 20 2013”on each package.

The products subject to recall were produced on November 1, 2012, and December 19, 2012.  The products were shipped to a distribution center for retail distribution in Louisiana and Southeastern Texas.  When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS' website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

Hog head cheese products produced by EST. 2257 have been linked to a recent Salmonella Uganda cluster involving six case-patients from Louisiana. Working in conjunction with the Louisiana Office of Public Health, FSIS was able to link illnesses to the RTE pork products produced at this establishment based on epidemiologic and traceback investigations. Illness onset dates among the case-patients ranged from October 16, 2012 to November 10, 2012. Four case-patients confirmed eating the brand under recall. Leftover RTE product from consumers was not available for testing. However, retail samples of like product from different production dates underwent testing last week, and four of nine samples tested positive for Salmonella. It is not known at this time if these samples are positive for the outbreak strain, but any finding of such will be made public by FSIS once it becomes available. FSIS is continuing to work with public health partners on the investigation.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. “Ask Karen” live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline, 1-888-674-6854, is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Problems_With_Food_Products/index.asp

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