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FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Ready to Eat Sausage Products due to Possible Listeria Contamination

Congressional and Public Affairs 
Spencer Pretecrum (202) 720-9113
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because Bluegrass Provisions Co., a Crescent Springs, Ky. establishment, produced sausage products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. A recall was not requested because it is believed that all products are no longer in commerce and are past their use or freeze by dates.

The ready-to-eat smoked sausage items were produced on Apr. 22, 2020. The following products subject to the public health alert are: [View Label (PDF only)] 

  • 14-oz. plastic packages containing 6 pieces of “BLUE GRASS METTWURST,” with a use or freeze by date of July 23, 2020.
  • 14-oz. plastic packages containing 6 pieces of “WALNUT CREEK FOODS Smoked Sausage,” with a use or freeze by date of July 23, 2020.
  • 14-oz. plastic packages containing 6 pieces of Lidl “SMOKED BRATWURST,” with a use or freeze by date of July 23, 2020.
  • 14-oz. plastic packages containing 6 pieces of Lidl “SMOKED BRATWURST WITH CHEESE,” with a use or freeze by date of July 23, 2020.

The products bear establishment number “EST. 7417” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors and retail locations in Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

The problem was discovered by routine testing and the results showed one of the products was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The additional products may be affected by cross-contamination.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.  

Members of the media with questions about the public health alert can contact Paul Rice, President of Blue Grass Quality Meats, at (859) 394-0689. Consumer inquiries can be directed to David Kegley, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Blue Grass Quality Meats, at (859) 331-7100.        

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to [email protected]. For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.

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