The Costco Ham That's Being Recalled Over Possible Listeria Contamination

Grocery store recalls are pretty common, given the vast array of food items and different companies' products that fill shelves nationwide. But for those looking to get a jumpstart on the holidays by buying that Costco ham to put in the freezer for the next couple of months, you may be making a trip back to the warehouse to return it. On September 29, Costco announced that, due to possible Listeria contamination, it is recalling its Kirkland Signature Master Carve Half Ham, which is applewood smoked, boneless, and contains natural juices.

The ham, aka Item #46655, was sold in stores between September 26 and September 29, 2023. It will contain a "Use/Freeze by Jan 20, 2024" label. It shouldn't be eaten, and anyone who purchased it can take it back to Costco to receive a refund. The recalled items were sold in Northern California's Bay area as well as Western Nevada. Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats, Inc., the company that supplies the ham, issued the recall notice to Costco, and anyone with questions or concerns is invited to contact Sunnyvalley at 209-647-3504.

Costco's recall page is something all members should become familiar with. Just in the past month, the warehouse giant has issued recalls for chicken bone broth, chicken tortilla soup, and butternut squash for various reasons, ranging from E. Coli worries to undeclared gluten.

Listeria is a rare but serious disease

Costco's ham recall is the latest possible contamination related to Listeria, with kiwi and frozen fruit sold at Aldi and Trader Joe's also flagged recently. According to the Mayo Clinic, the bacterial illness may cause minor symptoms in healthy people, but it can be very serious and even fatal for newborns and those with weak or compromised immune systems. Pregnant people are much more likely to develop Listeria infections and, while they may not be adversely affected, their babies often are.

According to the FDA, approximately 1,600 people get Listeria every year, and 94% of those people end up needing to be hospitalized. In addition to that, the mortality rate for the illness is 20-30%, so for those most susceptible to the illness, it's best to always follow food safety rules and guidelines.

To avoid Listeria infections, make sure all cooking and eating utensils are clean. It's always wise to always scrub vegetables before eating, and make sure foods that contain meat or eggs are cooked to a safe temperature. A food thermometer is a great investment that helps you be sure your food is cooked correctly, even if your oven temperature is off a bit.