• The recall now affects 2,320,774 pounds of ham and pepperoni products
  • The list of affected products from various brands has been updated
  • There are three key steps to reducing listeria risks

An earlier recall of meat products has now been expanded to more than two million pounds of fully cooked ham and pepperoni due to a Listeria risk.

Michigan-based Alexander & Hornung recalled more than 234,000 pounds of fully cooked meat products earlier in the month after the company informed the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that their product sampling came out positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Now, the company has expanded the recall to 2,320,774 pounds of products, an announcement posted on the FSIS website noted.

The recall now affects more products apart from the ones announced earlier. The updated list of the affected products and the label images are available on the FSIS website.

These products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and have the establishment number "EST. M10125" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

"Only those products listed are being recalled," Alexander & Hornung noted. "No other products are impacted, including but not limited to any Alexander & Hornung brand fresh, frozen, raw or further processed items."

Those who have purchased an affected product are urged not to consume them and instead, should take them back to where they were bought. Customers with questions about the recall can contact the company at 1-866-866-3703.

Listeria risk

Consuming food that's contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause a serious infection, FSIS noted. It is most likely to sicken older adults, those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women, as well as their newborns.

"Pregnant women with a Listeria infection can pass the infection to their unborn babies," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted. "Listeria infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and preterm labor. Listeria infection can cause serious illness and even death in newborns."

There have so far been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from the recalled products. The company noted that it initiated the voluntary recall "out of an abundance of caution."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there are three key steps to reduce the risk from Listeria. The first is to chill food at the right temperature to slow the growth of Listeria. This means placing the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). It is also important to consume ready-to-eat refrigerated foods by the Use-by date and to regularly clean one's refrigerator.

Representative image of meat products. Pixabay