Frozen meatballs distributed in the Carolinas and seven other states could contain bacteria that induce diarrhea, fever, achy muscles and other ill effects.
Rich Products Corp. of New Jersey is recalling 3,420 pounds of “Member’s Mark Casa Di Bertacchi Italian Style Beef Meatballs” produced on Dec. 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced late Wednesday, calling the health risk “high.”
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The meatballs could contain Listeria monocytogenes, according to the USDA. The pathogenic bacteria cause the infection listeriosis, primarily in older adults, people with weakened immune system and pregnant women and their newborns.
Listeriosis can also cause headaches, a stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infections in the newborn, according to the federal government. It can even kill people if left untreated with antibiotics.
The USDA and the company are concerned that some of the meatballs could be in people’s freezers.
The tainted meatballs come in 36-pound cases containing six 6-pound bags of the product with a “Best if Used By 17 Dec 2018” label and a lot code of 15507351 on the packaging.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 5336” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
When available, the retail distribution list will be posted at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls, according to the USDA.
The Casa Di Bertacchi website says its products are exclusively available at Sam’s Club.
The problem came to light on Wednesday when Rich Products notified the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that the company had shipped the contaminated product to distributors in the nine states.
If you bought the meatballs, throw them away or return them to the store where you purchased them, the USDA advises.
Distributors in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia also received the possibly contaminated meatballs.
Consumers with questions about the recall can call Rich Products at 1-800-356-7094.