NC ham company recalls more than 89,000 pounds of ham due to pathogenic bacteria

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — A North Carolina ham company is recalling more than 89,000 pounds of ham over possible contamination by a pathogenic bacteria, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The recall includes 89,096 pounds of ham from Johnston County Hams, based in Smithfield, North Carolina, produced from April 3, 2017, to Oct. 2, 2018.

The ready-to-eat deli-loaf ham items were recalled on Wednesday.

The products were sent to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia.

The FSIS believed the ham could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a serious infection.

The FSIS already received a report of one person who became ill with listeriosis after consuming a ham product from Johnston County Hams.

Officials determined a positive link between the products and the Listeria monocytogenes illness.

One death and a total of four listeriosis illnesses were confirmed between July 8, 2017, and Aug. 11, 2018, based on an epidemiological investigation.

Listeriosis primarily affects older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns. Others are less commonly affected.

This illness can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, according to the FSIS.

Pregnant women who contract listeriosis could face miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

These are the products being recalled:

  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Johnston County Hams, Inc. Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham.”
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”

Check inside the USDA mark of inspection. If the product has an establishment number of “EST. M2646,” it is part of the recall.

The FSIS directs any consumers with questions about the recall to call Johnston County Hams Plant Manager Rufus Brown at (919) 934-8054.

For food safety questions, the FSIS directs consumers to “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or via smartphone at

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Fridays, consumers can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) in English or Spanish.

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