Boar's Head Is Among Several Meat Brands Recalled For Potential Listeria Contamination

Charcuterie boards have been trending since 2019, per Progressive Grocer, but when they got their start in the last millennium, their purpose was utilitarian. According to State and Allen, the first ones were meant to present leftovers in one place before they had a chance to spoil. Nevertheless, it wasn't until the 1906 passage of the U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act that foodborne illness rates began declining significantly, the CDC notes. 

Today, food safety remains a work-in-progress requiring cooperation among supply chain stakeholders and the federal government, including the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the public health agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) charged with inspecting all meat, poultry, and egg products supplied commercially throughout the U.S., per the FSIS

With a goal of identifying all mislabeled and/or contaminated products, the FSIS conducts routine inspections throughout the supply chain, including facilities where items are processed and packaged. It was during one such recent inspection — of the facilities of a national supplier of popular meat products — that the FSIS detected the presence of a potentially deadly bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, on surfaces with which meats produced and packaged there would have potentially come into contact. 

As a result, the supplier has recalled nearly 53,000 pounds of pre-packaged meats from various brands. Here's what you need to know.

This meat recall is considered high risk

On January 29, 2023, Rhode Island-based Daniele International LLC announced the listeria-related recall of around 52,914 pounds of pre-packaged ready-to-eat meats — many of which were intended specifically for use on charcuterie boards, although their use as luncheon meats may also be presumed. 

The recalled products, along with label photos, may be found in the FSIS's recall announcement. Some of the more well-known products subject to this recall include a Boar's Head Charcuterie Trio, sold in six-ounce plastic trays with sell-by dates of April 13, 14, and 15, 2023, and several Del Duca brand variety packs with sell-by dates between April 13 and May 6, 2023. 

All recalled products were produced between May 23 and November 25, 2022, and distributed for nationwide retail sale between December 23, 2022 and January 17, 2023. All bear use-by dates far enough into the future (including one with a use-by-date of January 17, 2024) to raise concerns they may be tucked away in consumer refrigerators. This is particularly worrisome because listeria monocytogenes is responsible for causing listeriosis, which the CDC says is responsible for about 260 deaths per year. 

Although listeriosis often makes appearances in the news, it is relatively rare and primarily strikes those with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women, their newborns, and adults over age 65. Nevertheless, the company and FSIS are urging consumers to check their homes for these products; if found, they should be discarded or returned, presumably for a refund.