Tyson Recalls Infected Deli Meat from Walmart Grab-and-Go Sandwiches

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Hard economic times may prompt you to spend less money on food, but don’t sacrifice healthiness for thriftiness! Picking up an inexpensive grab-and-go sandwich may save you money (and time) in the long-run, but if that’s your lunch plan for the week, reconsider. The food recalls are continuing, and this time we’re not talking about eggs. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Zemco Industries, a division of Tyson Foods, is recalling 380,000 pounds of deli meat products that may be contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes from Walmart stores across the nation.

What’s lurking in your sandwich? Zemco Industries, a division of Tyson, recently recalled deli meat that might be contaminated with a deadly disease-causing bacteria. Photo By Always Be Cool/Courtesy Flickr.

All of the meats being recalled are part of Walmart’s Marketside Grab-and-Go Sandwiches brand and include the ham and swiss sandwich, Italian hero sandwich, roast beef and cheddar sandwich, and the smokehouse hero sandwich. It might be best to avoid these sandwiches for a while, because there seems to be some discrepancy on which products are actually contaminated. The FSIS reports that the infected meats were produced between June 18 and July 2 and have a “use by” date ranging from August 20 to September 10, but Walmart released a statement saying that all the tainted products had a “sell by” date of August 25.

Listeria monocytogenes may not have the familiar ring of Samonella, but that’s not because it’s any less dangerous. In fact, this bacteria is responsible for more illnesses and death than Salmonella each year–2,500 and 500, respectively–and is the current leading cause of death among foodborne pathogens. Listeria monocytogenes leads to listeriosis, a rare but potentially fatal disease that is characterized by high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness and nausea.  While infection is rare and usually only affects babies, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, this bacteria is nothing to brush off and forget about. Unlike most other pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes thrives in cold, low-oxygen environments like the refrigerator and strongly resists common food preservation agents such as heat, salt, nitrite and acids. Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness and nausea.

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