Smithfield Is Recalling Over 10,000 Pounds Of Pepperoni

If you recently purchased any ready-to-eat pepperoni products, then you may want to check your packaging to see if it's subject to a recent food recall. On December 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp., under the business name of Margherita Meats, Inc., is recalling more than 10,000 pounds of pepperoni products due to concerns of potential contamination with Bacillus cereus.

According to the FDA, the bacteria Bacillus cereus can cause two different types of food poisoning-related illness: one with abdominal pain and diarrhea and another with acute nausea and vomiting. Treatment typically includes "vigorous rehydration" and antibiotics, though individuals with weakened immune systems may experience a more severe bout of illness (via Food Safety News). The CDC estimates that 63,000 illnesses a year are caused by Bacillus cereus, resulting in an estimated 20 hospitalizations a year. So far, there have been no reports of anyone being sickened by the recalled pepperoni products (via NBC Chicago).

What to look for on the packaging

According to the FSIS, the recall is limited to 8-ounce shrink-wrapped packages of unsliced pepperoni products made and packaged on June 17, 2021, with a "use by date" of "12-14-21" and a lot code of P1931C. The recalled pepperoni products also have "EST. 19" within the USDA mark of inspection. Consumers who purchased any of these recalled products are advised not to consume them, and instead to throw them away or to return them to the place of purchase for a refund, Jim Monroe, a spokesperson for Smithfield, told Consumer Reports. Consumers with questions can contact Margherita Consumer Affairs at (844) 342-2596 or the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll-free at (888) 674-6854 or live chat with a representative online Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) (via the FSIS).

This is the second recall of pepperoni products this month. On December 5, 2021, Perdue Premium Meat Company, Inc.'s subsidiary, Alexander & Hornung, recalled more than 234,000 pounds of cooked ham and pepperoni products over concerns of contamination with another bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, responsible for listeriosis. It's always a good idea to pay attention to recalls and check your packages to be on the safe side.