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Critical new meat recall: Don’t eat this dangerous meat if you have any at home

A pepperoni pizza on a counter

If you’ve been buying meat products recently, you should make sure they’re not included in the massive recalls that the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced recently. A few days ago, Alexander & Hornung expanded its big pork meat recall. It now includes more than 2.3 million pounds of meat products potentially contaminated with Listeria. On top of that, there’s one more pathogen that you should be concerned about when it comes to your meat supply. That’s Bacillus cereus, traces of which appeared on Smithfield ready-to-eat pepperoni products. The discovery triggered another meat recall that covers nearly 11,000 pounds of pepperoni.

The Smithfield pepperoni recall

Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp., doing business as Margherita Meats Inc., is recalling 10,990 pounds of the ready-to-eat pepperoni products that it sells nationwide. The new pepperoni recall is due to potential contamination with Bacillus cereus.

The company produced and packaged the unsliced pepperoni in the recall on June 17th, 2021. The Department of Defense notified FSIS that it discovered the bacillus during routine testing.

As a result, Smithfield has recalled 8oz packages containing potentially contaminated meat.

You should be looking for 8oz. plastic shrink-wrapped packages containing unsliced “Margherita PEPPERONI” with lot code P1931C and a “use by date” of 12-14-21 on the label. If you have any in your fridge or pantry, do not eat it.

Also, the recalled pepperoni products bear establishment number “EST. 19” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The following image shows the label of the Smithfield pepperoni product that is included in the recall.

Smithfield pepperoni product label part of a recallImage source: Smithfield vis FSIS

Why Bacillus cereus is dangerous

Bacillus cereus is a bacterium found in soil, vegetables, and raw and processed foods. Ingesting the pathogen can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea and vomiting. The FSIS press release warns that people with compromised immune systems are at risk for more severe illness. Symptoms can occur within hours after consuming tainted products.

Therapy for infection with Bacillus cereus includes “vigorous rehydration” and antibiotics, the announcement notes.

The Smithfield pepperoni products in the recall have not caused any reported adverse reactions so far. The company advises people who suspect an infection or illness to contact their healthcare provider.

What you should do

As always with recalls involving foods and drinks, you should stop consuming the Smithfield ready-to-eat pepperoni included in the lot above.

If you still have Margherita Pepperoni stock in your refrigerator or pantry, you should either throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

Make sure you consult the full press release at this link for more information about the Smithfield pepperoni recall. The press release contains contact information for both the USDA and Smithfield’s Margherita Meats.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.