Risk of E. coli, Listeria spurs warning about Polonia Sausage House products
Inspectors from Vancouver Coastal Health have discovered a local family-owned business did not use proper processing in the production of meat products including sausages and salami, which could allow for growth of potentially deadly bacteria.
The health department on the West Coast of Canada has issued a public warning for eight different products from Polonia Sausage House. A recall has been initiated, but there is concern consumers may have unused portions of the products in their homes.
“During an inspection, inspectors discovered that these products were not processed using a validated method consistent with food safety standards. The retailer has stopped selling the items and is fully cooperating. No illnesses have been reported linked to these products,” according to the public warning.
“Customers are being advised to either throw the products out or return them to the place of purchase.”
Polonia Sausage House stores sold the implicated meats from Aug. 1 through Nov. 2. Other than the types of processed meats and the locations that sold them, the warning does not include any packaging codes or label information that consumers could use to identify the recalled products. Bacteria that may have contaminated the products include E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria, both of which can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses or death.
The kinds of processed meat included in the recall are:
• Cervelat Salami;
• Polish Salami;
• Ziger Salami;
• Hungarian Salami;
• Polish Smoked Sausage;
• Hot Hungarian; and
• Gypsy Salami.
Polonia Sausage House manufactured and sold all of the recalled meats, according to the Vancouver health department warning.
Store locations listed in the warning are:
• Vancouver Sausage, 2434 E. Hastings St., Vancouver;
• Vancouver Deli, 4286 Fraser St., Vancouver;
• Surrey Bakery 14641 108th Ave., Surrey; and
• Surrey Deli 14045 104th Ave., Surrey.
Advice for consumers
Food that is contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria may not look, smell or taste bad. Anyone who has unused meat products of the kind described in the warning in their homes should discard them unless they know for sure they were not made by Polonia Sausage House.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled meat and developed symptoms of E. coli or Listeria infection should seek medical attention. Specific lab work is required to identify and diagnose such infections, so people should tell their doctors about their possible exposure to foodborne pathogens related to this recall.
Also, people who have eaten the recalled meat should monitor themselves in the coming days and weeks for symptoms of foodborne illness. E. coli bacteria usually cause symptoms in a week or less, but it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms to develop.
Regardless of the foodborne pathogen, some groups are more likely to suffer severe illnesses and life-threatening complications including kidney failure and brain damage. High risk groups include young children, elderly or frail adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems such as HIV patients and cancer patients.
Symptoms of E. coli infection usually include diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. It is not unusual for the diarrhea to be bloody and so severe that patients become dehydrated and require hospitalization.
Symptoms of Listeria infection are similar to those of E. coli infection, but can also include fever.