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Gourmet Boutique Recalls More Meat Products for Listeria

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Gourmet Boutique, a New York company that makes fresh and frozen meat products, has recalled 268,000 pounds of meat because of possible listeria contamination. This is the second such recall for Gourmet Boutique this year, which recalled anothery 7,000 pounds of products sent to stores in 10 states over another possible listeria contamination in March.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has deemed the Gourmet Boutique recall a Class I alert, which carries the highest priority and is only issued when there is a “reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning generated by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and is dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those who are undergoing chemotherapy. Most experience only mild flu like symptoms—fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea. In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions. In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage or stillbirth. Listeria lives in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food and can easily contaminate dairy and beef products; listeria thrives in cold environments.

On Saturday, Gourmet Boutique recalled nearly three-dozen products, including fresh foods sold under the names Gourmet Boutique Curry Chicken Salad, Gourmet Boutique Turkey Club Twister, and Jan’s Buffalo Bob tortilla wrap sandwiches. Frozen products include Archer Farms mini beef, pulled-pork, and chicken burritos. Salad products possibly containing contaminated meat were recalled and produced between April 19 and 24; frozen products were produced between October 23 and April 23. Many of the recalled fresh products bore May 2 or 3 “sell by” or “best before” dates.

In a recorded message for consumers, the company said it made a number of changes at the plant to prevent a recurrence of such problems. “We are confident of the safety and quality of our products, which will continue to be validated through our ongoing sampling practice as part of our food safety programs,” the message said.

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