Palmyra Bologna Company announced a voluntary recall of a limited amount of deli-sliced and packaged Seltzer’s Regular Beef Lebanon Bologna produced in December 2010. While most of the product being recalled has been consumed weeks or months ago and is likely no longer in retail stores, the decision to recall the bologna was made out of an abundance of caution after consulting with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This limited voluntary recall DOES NOT include any Seltzer’s Lebanon Bologna produced since December 31, 2010. The amount being recalled is approximately 23,000 pounds – or about 20% of what is produced in a typical week.
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The FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on March 10, 2011. Working in conjunction with public health officials, 4 case-patients in New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have been identified with illness onset dates between January 10 and February 15, 2011. FSIS believes the reported illnesses may have been caused by Lebanon bologna that may have been contaminated. Although no Seltzer’s Regular Beef Lebanon Bologna tested positive for containing E. coli, the company is voluntarily recalling two Lots of Regular Beef Lebanon Bologna to ensure the health of its customers. The Lots were shipped to distributors and retailers in the following states: California, Colorado, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.
Seltzer’s believes the product in question – most of which is sliced at a grocers deli counter – is no longer in stores, however, they have asked retail locations to check their inventory and discard any product with the two matching lot numbers if it remains in stock. Consumers who purchased Seltzer’s Regular Beef Lebanon Bologna in 6, 12 and 16-ounce packages with Lot Number 01351 stamped on the reverse side of the package with a “Best By” date of April 20, 21 or 22 should return the product to the store where it was purchased for a full refund. This limited recall does NOT include any other Seltzer Lebanon Bologna products.
“As a third-generation, family-owned business, nothing is more important to us than our loyal customers who have helped us stay in business for over 100 years,” said Craig Seltzer, President of Seltzer’s Lebanon Bologna. “So even though none of our bologna tested positive for pathogens and we believe most of the bologna from those lots was consumed weeks or months ago, I thought it was important to take this action and initiate a voluntary recall. If you are concerned that you may have some of the product in question, please return it to the retail location where it was purchased for a full refund. No receipt is necessary.”
In addition to consumers, Seltzer’s is in contact with all of its distributors and retailers that received shipments with those two lot numbers.
Craig Seltzer says food safety is his number one priority, adding, “That’s why we test our food contact surfaces weekly for bacteria indicators. In addition to our weekly swab tests, we also test finished Lebanon Bologna products for E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria every month. The government does not require us to test at all. We made a decision a long time ago to test at least once a month to meet our own demanding standards. If there is a problem with our process, we want to know about it first.”
As part of its regular reporting to FSIS, Seltzer’s reported that its Lebanon Bologna products and food contact surfaces were tested the weeks and months before, during and after the production of the product in question, and no trace of E. coli contamination or other pathogens were found in the finished product.
Any consumer with questions about the recall can contact the Palmyra Bologna Company toll free, at 1-800-282-6336.