More Than 1,600 Pounds Of Jerky Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

The USDA has flagged another possible contamination of Listeria monocytogenes. This time it's a doozy for fans of chewy, dried beef. According to the announcement, 1,634 pounds of jerky prepared by Boyd Specialties could be carrying the bacteria. This is not the case of one brand of jerky either, but a cross-industry outbreak waiting to happen with names including but not limited to Humboldt Jerky Co, Smokehouse Jerky Co, and Rebel's Gourmet snacks.

The states which have received the recalled jerky are Alabama, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The products were processed on February 23 and have a best-by date on either February 17 or 18 of 2023. They also have the establishment number "EST. 40269" within the label declaring that the product has been checked by the USDA. The agency has assembled 83 pictures of the labels. If you have any of the suspect jerkies, you are advised to either throw it away or return it to the retailer from which you purchased it.

The seriousness of listeria

If you follow food safety announcements, you have heard of listeria. It may have reached a news saturation point in which you begin to tune out the seriousness of the issue. A recent listeria outbreak connected with Dole salads, however, infected a reported 17 people across 14 states (via Business Insider). Thirteen were hospitalized and two died. 

According to the USDA, those who should be more careful are those who are usually more at risk of serious infection. These are primarily older adults, the immunocompromised, and the pregnant. In the last category, the infection can also complicate the pregnancy or infect the newborn.

However, even a less serious infection could result in "fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms." Basically, this is a situation in which the jerky is not worth it. Hopefully, the recall has been issued soon enough to stave off another cross-country outbreak.