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Meatball Recall: Listeria Risk Prompts Buona Vita To Pull 300,000 Pounds Of Products

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MEATBALL LISTERIA RECALL
Buona Vita


July 7 (Reuters) - A New Jersey meatball manufacturer is recalling more than 300,000 pounds (136,000 kg) of meat products due to possible listeria contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said on Saturday.

Bridgeton, New Jersey-based Buona Vita Inc was recalling about 324,770 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products produced in May, including meatballs, chicken and beef patties, and loafs of chicken and beef, the agency said in a written statement.

The FSIS described the health risk related to the recall as "high," according to the statement.

Representatives for Buona Vita, which says on its website that it produces 200,000 pounds (90,000 kg) of meatballs a day, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The possible contamination was discovered through testing by FSIS and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the FSIS statement said. There have been no reports of illness related to the company's products, it added.

In 2011, more than 30 people died from listeria-contaminated cantaloupe linked to Jensen Farms in Colorado.

Listeria bacteria thrive in low temperatures. Outbreaks are usually associated with deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses and smoked refrigerated seafood products.

Listeriosis has a long incubation period, with symptoms sometimes not showing up until two months after people consume tainted foods.

Symptoms include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea and other gastric problems. (Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Cooney)

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