Federal safety officials are investigating whether recalled meat samplers sold at Sam’s Club warehouses across the country are involved in an outbreak of salmonella that has stricken two dozen people in 14 states.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday posted a food safety alert cautioning consumers about Busseto Foods brand ready-to-eat charcuterie meat products. Fratelli Beretta USA earlier this month recalled more than 11,000 pounds of product after an unopened sample collected by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture tested positive for salmonella.
Testing is being done to determine if the salmonella in the sample is the same outbreak strain behind 24 illnesses, including five hospitalizations. The tally includes 11 people in Ohio and one illness in each of 13 other states: Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
The recall involves 18-ounce plastic tray packages of “Busseto Foods Charcuterie Sampler Proscuitto, Sweet Soppressata and Dry Coppa” with a lot code L075330300 and best-by date of April 27, 2024. The product is also sold as a twin pack with two 9-oz. packages.
Consumers are being urged not to eat the recalled meat, but to discard the product or return it to the place of purchase.
People infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, with symptoms usually starting six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria, according to the CDC. Some people, particularly those younger than five and 65 years and older, may experience more severe illnesses. The agency estimates salmonella causes about 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the U.S. each year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is concerned the product may still be in people’s refrigerators, according to the recall notice posted by the agency.
Shipped to Sam’s Club distribution centers in eight states, the recalled meat was sold at more than 300 Sam’s Clubs in 27 states, according to Walmart, which operates the warehouse retailer.