WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Missouri company is recalling 60 pounds of sliced ham that may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections.

Schnuck Markets of O'Fallon, Mo., ordered the recall after routine testing found Listeria monocytogenes, the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Wednesday. No illnesses have been reported.

The recalled product, ``Hickory Pit Smoked Ham with Natural Juices,'' comes in 8-ounce packages with a sell-by date of ''06/10/00'' on the label. Labels inside the USDA inspection seal say ``EST. 13562.''

The ham was produced May 31 and distributed to retail stores in St. Louis and Columbia, Mo., and Evansville, Ind.

Listeria can cause fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea and diarrhea. Healthy people recover quickly, but listeria can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems, and is especially dangerous for pregnant women. It can cause miscarriages and stillbirths even if the mother experiences no symptoms.

The food safety service urges consumers who have purchased the ham to avoid eating it and return it to where it was purchased. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a doctor.

Consumers with questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.


On the Net: USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service: http://www.fsis.usda.gov