SUBSCRIBE NOW

Don't eat that sausage and bratwurst in your freezer before you check this USDA health alert

Jeanne Houck
Cincinnati Enquirer

The Department of Agriculture has issued a public health alert saying Bluegrass Provisions Co. of Crescent Springs, Kentucky, produced sausage products that may be contaminated with a disease-causing bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service did not request a recall because it is believed that the products are no longer on the market and are past their use or freeze-by dates, it said in a news release.

But the USDA is concerned that some of the products are in people’s freezers and is urging consumers not to eat them. Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems as well as pregnant women and their newborns, according to the alert.

Onion products recalled:More salmonella cases linked to onions with recalls now at Publix, Giant Eagle, Walmart, Kroger, H-E-B

Hand sanitizer warning:More hand sanitizers identified for methanol risk and added to FDA list of ones to avoid

The ready-to-eat smoked sausage products were produced on April 22 and shipped to distributors and retail locations in Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.

The following 14-ounce packages containing six pieces are part of the health alert:

  • “BLUE GRASS METTWURST,” with a use or freeze-by date of July 23, 2020.
  • “WALNUT CREEK FOODS Smoked Sausage,” with a use or freeze-by date of July 23, 2020.
  • Lidl “SMOKED BRATWURST,” with a use or freeze-by date of July 23, 2020.
  • Lidl “SMOKED BRATWURST WITH CHEESE,” with a use or freeze-by date of July 23, 2020.

The sausage products have an establishment number “EST. 7417” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

According to the health alert, the problem was discovered by routine testing and the results showed one of the products was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The other products may be affected by cross-contamination.

"Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them," the alert said. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff necks, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and people with weakened immune systems, the USDA said. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. People in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Masks required:Dollar Tree, Family Dollar reverse mask policy again and now require customers wear masks amid COVID-19

Recall alert:Salads, products with onions sold at Walmart, Kroger, H-E-B part of recall and USDA public health alert

Contributing: Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY