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100K Pounds Of Ham Products Recalled After Major Listeria Outbreak Turns Fatal

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If you've been avoiding buying ground beef for the past couple weeks, I don't blame you.

After Cargill Meat Solutions recalled their ground meat from all Publix locations due to suspicions of contamination with E. Coli, we became wary.

A few weeks later, the situation turned dire when 17 people became ill and one person died. The company was forced to issue another recall for more than 100,000 pounds of ground beef.

Unfortunately, ground meat is still a cause for concern.

On October 5, the USDA issued a recall for more than 6.5 million pounds of meat manufactured by JBS Tolleson Inc. for salmonella.

The meat industry is facing another big threat in multiple states, but this time it's linked to popular ham products.

ham sandwich
Grilled cheese with deli sliced ham sandwich. Courtesy of jeffreyw

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a multistate outbreak of listeria infections that they believe to be linked to deli ham.

Ham products by Johnston County Ham Inc. are believed to be what has caused four people in North Carolina and Virginia to fall ill.

There has already been one reported death from Virginia, according to the federal agency.

The recall goes back to products made from April 3, 2017 to Oct. 2, 2018, impacting nearly 90,000 pounds of ready-to-eat ham.

The USDA and the CDC are warning customers to watch out for the following products:

Johnston County Ham
Look out for products that have the establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA mark of inspection.CBS 17
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC.
  • Johnston County Hams, Inc. Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham
  • Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham with sell-by dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019
  • Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. Fully Cooked Country ham Boneless Glazed with Brown Sugar
  • Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham Less Salt Distributed by Valley Country Hams, LLC. with sell-by dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019
  • Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked
country ham
The investigation into Johnston County Hams began in September 2018.CBS 17

You should also look out for items with the establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The federal agencies believe these products were shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia.

"We are deeply saddened that consumers were harmed by our products. We are committed to identifying the root cause and taking proper corrective actions in close collaboration with the USDA and CDC. In addition, we have notified our distribution partners and will continue efforts to notify the public," Johnston County Hams said in a statement to CBS 17.

Here's why a listeria outbreak is so dangerous:

deli ham
Detecting listeria in deli ham. Wikipedia

Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which is a serious bacterial infection that may lead to severe sepsis, meningitis, encephalitis, or death.

Individuals most at risk are the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems.

More common symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.

[H/T: Fox News/ CNN]

If you have any of these items in your freezer, throw them away or return them! Spread the word before anyone else gets sick.

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.