CHICAGO, March 16 A Wal-Mart Stores Inc
supplier has recalled frozen pizzas available in 11 U.S. states
due to concerns about possible listeria contamination, according
to the retailer and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
About 6,700 pizzas sold under Wal-Mart's Marketside brand
were affected by the recall, a representative of the supplier
said on Thursday.
RBR Meat Company recalled about 21,220 pounds of Marketside
Extra Large Supreme Pizza that were shipped to retail
distribution centers in California, Nevada, Utah and Washington,
the USDA said on Wednesday. The product carries the code 20547.
Wal-Mart and the USDA said they were unaware of illnesses
linked to the pizzas.
The retailer said it started removing the products from its
shelves and inventory as soon as it received notice of the
recall from Rose & Shore, a food company affiliated with Vernon,
The pizzas were available in California, Colorado, Nevada,
Washington state, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska
and Hawaii, Wal-Mart said. Sam's Club was not affected.
People should not eat the pizzas, according to the USDA's
Food Safety and Inspection Service. It said RBR discovered the
possible listeria contamination during routine sampling.
Listeriosis is a serious illness caused by eating food
contaminated with listeria bacterium, according to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The infection
is most likely to sicken pregnant women and babies, adults older
than 65, and people with weakened immune systems.
An estimated 1,600 people contract listeriosis each year and
about 260 die, according to the CDC.
In an unrelated case, the CDC is investigating a multistate
outbreak of listeriosis linked to the consumption of soft raw
milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery that has led to two deaths.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek and Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing
by Matthew Lewis)