New Jersey-based meatball-maker Buona Vita Inc. is recalling nearly 325,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products due to possible Listeria contamination, CBS News reports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday that the recalled products included frozen meatballs (just about every kind they make), meat patties and loafs and other frozen meals. The USDA branded the recall as "Class I," meaning: "This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." Translation: Pass on the meatballs!
And yet Buono Vita makes no mention whatsoever of the recall on its website, not even under "Latest News," and actually lists four different ways to enjoy its meatballs on its homepage. "Our name means 'Good Life' in Italian, and we proudly provide fine family restaurants and chains with ... top-quality Italian specialties," they say, also boasting of producing 200,000 pounds of meatballs a day (that's 10 million meatballs). A mere five hours ago, the company tweeted: "Mamma Mia #Meatballs provide plenty of delicious options for your next #meal!" What a bunch of meatheads.
The Department of Agriculture lists all of the recalled products here.
Possible Listeria contamination was discovered through routine testing by the FSIS and Ohio Department of Agriculture. No illnesses have been reported so far.
Listeria infection, also called listeriosis, can cause fever, diarrhea, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions in some patients who ingest the bacteria. Older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are especially at risk. The CDC offers even more gory details.
Last year, an outbreak of listeriosis caused by cantaloupes grown in Colorado killed 30 people and sickened 146 across 28 states.
Consumers with questions about the current recall should contact Buona Vita Inc. at (856) 453-7972 and ask to speak to Junior Vice President of Operations Paul Infranco. If you really want to impress him, tell him his meatballs volevo vomitare.