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Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Ham from Johnston County Hams, Inc.

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Contact: Media Relations,
(404) 639-3286

CDC advises consumers and retailers not to eat, serve, or sell recalled ready-to-eat deli ham produced by Johnston County Hams, Inc. The ham is linked to a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. A food safety alert has been posted at:

Key Points:

  • CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ready-to-eat deli ham produced by Johnston County Hams, Inc., of Smithfield, North Carolina. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.
  • Four people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from North Carolina and Virginia. All ill people were hospitalized. One death has been reported from Virginia.
  • Listeria specimens were collected from ill people from July 8, 2017 to August 11, 2018.
  • On October 3, 2018, Johnston County Hams, Inc. recalled ready-to-eat country-style deli hams because they might be contaminated with Listeria. Recalled products were produced from April 3, 2017 through October 2, 2018.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Advice to Consumers and Retailers

  • If you develop symptoms of a Listeria infection ( after eating recalled deli ham products, such as feeling tired and having muscle aches,) contact a healthcare provider and tell them you ate recalled ham. This is especially important if you are pregnant, age 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system.
  • If you have eaten recalled deli ham products and do not have any symptoms of a Listeria infection, most experts believe that tests or treatment are not needed.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.