Manda expands its tainted meat recall

Baton Rouge area Manda Fine Meats has expanded its tainted meat recall from a little more than 20,000 pounds to about 468,000 pounds, the company and federal officials have announced.

The meats may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a news release Friday.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease that can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea, USDA officials said. It can also cause serious to fatal infections in anyone with weakened immune systems.

The products that may be affected are roast beef, ham, turkey breast, tasso pork, ham shanks, hog-head cheese, corned beef and pastrami, Manda officials said in a news release Saturday. The suspected tainted meats were all produced at the company’s Baker facility.

The company and federal officials originally said the recall was limited to 20,166 pounds of potentially infected cooked roast beef deli meat.

Manda officials said the recall is being taken “out of an abundance of caution.”

No reason was given in either news release as to how the meat may have become contaminated.

Manda officials said the company’s sausage products, which are produced at its Baton Rouge facility, are not affected because they are made at a facility separate from the other products.

The allegedly contaminated meats were produced between Feb. 27 and April 9 and have “sell by” dates between May 13 and July 2, Manda officials said.

The products were shipped to retail deli stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, USDA officials said.

USDA officials said they were alerted to the problem after Tennessee Department of Agriculture officials took a Manda cooked roast beef sample from a retail store April 5 and found it was infected with Listeria monocytogene.

The recall was expanded because additional samples from other production dates returned positive test results for the bacteria, USDA officials said.

No illnesses have been reported associated with the tainted meats, USDA said.

Manda officials said they are cooperating with federal investigators, and are reviewing their food safety systems.

“Our customers deserve no less,” the Manda news release says.

Anyone with questions about the recall can contact Josh Yarborough, Manda’s director of quality assurance and food safety at (225) 344-7636, ext. 59.