|Tuesday October 26 8:22 PM ET
Two Million Pounds Of Hot Dogs Recalled For Listeria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some 2.1 million pounds of frankfurters sold under the Sabrett and Western Beef brands were recalled for possible contamination with listeria, a deadly foodborne disease, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Tuesday.
No illnesses have been reported from the beef frankfurters which were sold nationwide, a spokeswoman for Marathon Enterprises Inc. said.
Listeria can cause a potentially fatal disease for unborn fetuses, the elderly, chemotherapy patients, and others with weak immune systems.
Marathon's New York plant that made the food was voluntarily closed on Oct. 14 after some of the food tested positive for listeria and an initial batch of 52,000 frankfurters was recalled.
The recall was expanded Tuesday to include all beef frankfurters made by the plant that may still be on grocery store shelves, at restaurants or hot dog stands, or in consumers' refrigerators.
The recalled frankfurters are 16-ounce and five-pound packages of Sabrett and Western Beef frankfurters. Each package was stamped with ``EST 8854'' inside the USDA seal.
``This recall pertains to only one of our plants,'' the Marathon spokeswoman said. ``We're trying to make sure that our customers are well informed.''
The first recall was ordered after New York state agriculture department officials found listeria contamination.
``Because of the potential of foodborne illness, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it, but to return it to the point of purchase,'' said Tom Billy, administrator of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Marathon said it was analyzing computer data to pinpoint grocery stores and other locations where the frankfurters were sold.
Since then, food industry and consumer groups have pressed the Food and Drug Administration to move quickly to approve irradiation for hot dogs, vegetables, fruits and juices. The USDA is separately finalizing rules for irradiation use on raw ground beef.