It's not a great day to be a pork sausage-lover. Quincy Street Inc., a Michigan food company, has recalled about 49,000 pounds of pork sausage produced on April 22 and 23 for "foreign matter contamination," the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Thursday. Here's how you can find out if your product has been affected: The products that have been recalled possess the establishment number "EST 18963" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
This is a Class One recall, meaning there is "a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death," according to the USDA. Quincy Street Inc. hasn't released a public statement on the recall, but its website reads: "As our mission statement says: 'Quincy Street, Inc. is committed to be a manufacturer and marketer of safe, consistent quality pork products. We will safely produce products to our customers’ specification each time, and be recognized by our customers as the best supplier in our industry.'"
The sausage was sent to facilities all across the nation, so consumers in all parts of the country should look out for the affected meat. So far, the USDA has received no related complaints of negative reactions. If you possess some of the recalled sausage, either dispose of it, making sure that no one else can consume it, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund, according to Foodsafety.gov.
The recall was due to potential foreign matter contamination, and the USDA website contains a full list of item numbers for the recalled food. The department uncovered the possible contamination during a routine inspection.
When preparing raw sausage that contains turkey or chicken, always cook it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. For beef, pork, or lamb sausage, cook to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA. Examine a sausage product's label to find the inspection legend, USDA inspection number, and safe handling statement, which should contain information such as whether to keep the meat frozen or refrigerated. The USDA also says that it's important to check the "Sell By," "Best If Used By," or "Use-By" dates before purchasing meat.
Some individuals should consider not eating dry, meaning uncooked, sausages for health reasons. Older adults, young children, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems might not want to eat dry sausage because some bacteria can survive the dry fermentation process, according to the USDA.
Raw pork products have never been completely safe from outbreaks. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated cases of the hepatitis E. virus in pork liver sausage from France. FSIS inspected fermented sausage in 1997 for salmonella and listeria monocytogenes, and children became sick in 1994 after consuming dry cured salami that contained E. coli, according to the USDA.
For questions concerning food safety, consumers can contact the USDA's virtual representative program "Ask Karen." The USDA also has a Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), but if you experience negative health affects as a result of the product, see a health care provider.
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