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Listeria traced in potato salad, salmon brands

August 6, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A bacteria that can cause short-term fever, headache, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain may have contaminated a brand of potato salad and smoked salmon.

The Illinois-based Orval Kent Food Co. on Tuesday recalled its brand of potato salad from grocery stores, and the Food and Drug Administration warned that Royal Line brand smoked salmon may also be infected with listeria.

No illnesses have been reported from either product, but the FDA said consumers should not eat the foods because of the potential for serious illness.

In healthy people, listeria typically causes short-term stomach and head ailments. But the bacteria can be fatal to young children, the elderly or people with weak immune systems, and can cause miscarriages or stillbirths among pregnant women.

Stores and consumers can identify the recalled potato salad because the plastic containers are marked with expiration dates prior to Sept. 15 and carry the identifying code ``W7.″

Retailers sell the potato salads in 1-, 2- and 3-pound containers sold under the brand names Orval Kent, Pathmark, Demoulas, Giant of Landover, Md., Acme Markets and Marsh Supermarkets.

At wholesale, 5- and 10-pound bulk containers of the potato salads were sold to restaurants or delis under the brands Orval Kent, Salad Plus, Signature Salads, Signature Delights, Sysco Classic, Sysco Block & Barrel, Alliant, PYA Monarch, Mathew’s Salad House and Metro/Media.

Consumers should either dispose of the potato salad or return it to the store of purchase. Consumers uncertain about the source of deli or restaurant potato salad should ask for the brand name, Orval Kent said.

Also possibly containing the bacteria is Royal Line salmon, which is imported from Denmark and labeled Royal Line brand smoked salmon from Faroe Islands. There is no product code on the package, but the salmon is sold as presliced, skinless and boneless in 2.5-pound plastic bags, the FDA said.

The FDA discovered the listeria during routine testing of imported foods, and importer Marine Marketing International of Boca Raton, Fla., ceased shipping the product.

But the FDA said it could not be certain just where the salmon was sold. Its sole distributor, Marcos Marketing Innovations Co. of Marietta, Ga., ``has refused to cooperate in providing information or recalling the salmon,″ the agency said in a statement.

The salmon was sold to Jewish temples in the Los Angeles area for fundraising events, the FDA said, but cautioned that it also may have been distributed elsewhere around the country.

Company chief Marcos Vincent said Tuesday that Los Angeles was the only area to receive the salmon. He declined further comment.

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