CDC advises consumers and retailers not to eat, serve, or sell recalled ready-to-eat deli ham produced by Johnston County Hams, Inc. The ham is linked to a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. A food safety alert has been posted at: https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/countryham-10-18/index.html
- CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ready-to-eat deli ham produced by Johnston County Hams, Inc., of Smithfield, North Carolina. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.
- Four people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from North Carolina and Virginia. All ill people were hospitalized. One death has been reported from Virginia.
- Listeria specimens were collected from ill people from July 8, 2017 to August 11, 2018.
- On October 3, 2018, Johnston County Hams, Inc. recalled ready-to-eat country-style deli hams because they might be contaminated with Listeria. Recalled products were produced from April 3, 2017 through October 2, 2018.
- This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
Advice to Consumers and Retailers
- Do not eat, sell, or serve recalled products from Johnston County Hams, Inc.
- Recalled ham products were sold under several brand names. The full recall list is available here: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2018/recall-084-2018-release
- Retailers should clean and sanitize deli slicers and other areas where recalled deli ham was prepared, stored, or served.
- Return any recalled deli ham to the store for a refund or throw it away. Even if some ham was eaten and no one got sick, do not eat it. If you do not know if the ham you purchased was recalled, ask the place where you purchased it or throw it away.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators and freezers where recalled ham was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
- If you develop symptoms of a Listeria infection (https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/definition.html after eating recalled deli ham products, such as feeling tired and having muscle aches,) contact a healthcare provider and tell them you ate recalled ham. This is especially important if you are pregnant, age 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system.
- If you have eaten recalled deli ham products and do not have any symptoms of a Listeria infection, most experts believe that tests or treatment are not needed.
If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.