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New Jersey importer recalls ham products

Last month, a New Jersey food importer announced a recall of approximately 6,000 pounds of imported ham products after several samples tested positive for Listeria monogytogenes. If consumed, the Listeria bacteria could cause consumers to become infected with Listeriosis.

The dangerous foods products include several varieties of Serrano boneless ham products, including "Noel Jamón Serrano Boneless Spanish Dry-Cured Ham" and "Bloc Noel Serrano Ham." The contaminated food was imported from Spain through Speclialities Agro Alimentation, which is based in Morris County. However, because the ham products were then shipped throughout the United States, New Jersey consumers are not the only ones at risk for Listeriosis.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the existence of the Listeria bacteria was discovered through microbiological testing of a sample of the imported products. The specific products that tested positive were not placed into the stream of commerce, but inspectors believe that additional products in the shipment are likely contaminated.

If you believe you are at risk of Listeriosis, there are several precautions you can take to avoid the disease. Wash your hands, with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, as well as cutting boards and knives and any other utensils that come in contact with uncooked meat. If possible, use separate cutting boards from other foods that will not be cooked. Do not consume unpasteurized milk, cheese, or other dairy products. Eat pre-cooked or ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.

Consumers who may have purchased contaminated Serrano products should contact their grocery retailer. If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a dangerous or defective product, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: NJ Today, "NJ Firm Recalls Imported Ham Products," 27 June 2011

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