Deli Meat Recall Issued Over Processing Issue

Consumers are being urged to check their refrigerators and freezers after prepackaged popular deli meat was found to pose a health hazard. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on May 18 issued a public health alert for ready-to-eat (RTE) ham after it a processing issue led to the deli ham possibly being undercooked.

The health alert affects RTE, sliced Black Forest Ham produced by Plumrose USA, doing business as Swift Prepared Foods, a Council Bluffs, Iowa establishment. The ham was produced from April 28, 2022, through May 1, 2022, and sold in one-pound resealable plastic packages. Those packages contain "Great Value Black Forest Ham Water Added" with a "BEST IF USED BY 07/15/22" date, as well as the establishment number "EST. 26C" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The RTE ham product was shipped to Walmart stores in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The health alert was issued after the FSIS was notified by the firm, which "identified product that did not appear to be fully cooked, which prompted the establishment to perform an investigation." It was determined that the ham was underprocessed, meaning it was not fully cooked. According to FoodSafety.gov, fresh pork, including fresh ham, is safe to eat at an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas precooked ham should be at an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The FSIS said no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the deli ham have been reported at this time.

Despite the dangers consuming undercooked meat poses, the FSIS noted that "a recall was not requested because it is believed that the product is no longer available for consumers to purchase." However, there remains concern that the products affected by the health alert may still be in consumers' refrigerators or freezers. Consumers are urged to check their refrigerators and freezers for the recalled product. If they have the product, they should not consume them. The products should instead be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

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The health alert comes just days after Olympia Meats, a Portland, Oregon company, recalled over 860 pounds of pork deli meat. The recall, which affects Olympia Provisions Mortadella Classica with Garlic & Spices, was issued after it was found the packaging did not say the product contained pistachios, meaning the product poses a health hazard to those with tree nut allergies.