The company issued the recall - that affects Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia - over fears it shipped contaminated meat to customers.
Rich Products Corporation generates around US$3.7bn in sales per year and supplies baked goods, dairy toppings, meatballs and seafood to foodservice companies, in-store bakeries and retailers.
Rich Products: We’re confident our meatballs are ‘safe’
“As a private, family-owned company, it’s always been our priority that the customer and consumer come first,” said Dwight Gram, vice president of corporate communications at Rich Products Corporation.
“While this incident impacted only a small percentage of our product, we issued a voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. There have been no reported illnesses. We have identified the cause of this issue and have executed immediate corrective action. We are confident that our products are 100% safe for consumption.”
Its recall covers frozen beef meatballs manufactured on 17 December 2017. The products carry following establishment number inside the USDA market of inspection: EST. 5336.
It is unclear at this stage how a limited amount of its frozen beef meatballs may have become adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes or if other meat products pose a risk to the public.
Consumption of food contaminated with listeria can lead to a “serious infection” for the elderly, pregnant women and newborn babies, and anyone who may have a weekend immune system, according to US government’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Infection can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches and convulsions that are sometimes preceded by diarrhoea. In pregnant women, it can cause miscarriages, stillbirths or life-threatening infections for newborn babies.
FSIS has classified the Rich Products Corporation recall as a class one alert. This means the health risk is high with a “reasonable probability” that consumption of the beef meatballs will cause “serious, adverse health consequences or death”.