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Tyson Recalls Meat Sold to Wal-Mart Over Listeria

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- A Tyson Foods Inc. unit is recalling about 380,000 pounds (172 metric tons) of deli meat distributed to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., because the meat may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Zemco Industries, a unit of Tyson, produced the meat from June 18 to July 2, and packages have “Use By” dates ranging from Aug. 20 to Sept. 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said on its website. Wal-Mart was the only company that received the meat, Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said. The meat was shipped nationwide, and no illnesses have been reported, the USDA said.

“The recall is being conducted as a precaution,” Mickelson said today in an interview. None of the meat was sold in individual packages or separately at the deli counter, he said.

The meat was used in some “Marketside Grab and Go” deli sandwiches and stores have been instructed to remove affected products from the shelves, Wal-Mart said in a statement. Customers can return the products for a refund, the company said. Tyson is the largest U.S. meat processor.

“The safety of customers is a top priority,” Wal-Mart said in the statement.

Eating foods contaminated with Listeria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease characterized by fever, headache, neck stiffness and nausea, the USDA said. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the disease, the agency said.

Zemco is based in Buffalo, New York, and Tyson is in Springdale, Arkansas. Wal-Mart is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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