Listeria alert issued for Dion’s meat
No food products tested positive, company says
Possible listeria contamination of Dion’s deli meat has prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue a public health alert regarding ham, turkey, roast beef and pastrami served by the Albuquerque-based restaurant chain.
The meat was sliced by Peter DeFries Corp., which is the Dion’s corporate entity, from Dec. 14 to Dec. 29, but the alert warns the meat may have been available in Dion’s restaurants through Jan. 4.
The meat came on pizzas, salads and sandwiches.
One of New Mexico’s most prominent homegrown restaurant chains, Dion’s operates 23 restaurants in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado.
The company said in a news release Friday that no food products have tested positive for contamination but it discovered the “potential problem” during internal equipment testing. There have been no confirmed reports of illness, the release said.
Eating contaminated food can lead to listeriosis, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in its alert, noting that it primarily affects pregnant women and their newborns, older people and those with weakened immune systems.
“Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food,” the alert said.
The FSIS has an online service for those with food safety questions: askKaren.gov. Dion’s also has established a hotline for consumers: 505-515-2660.
Dion’s CEO Mark Herman said in a release that the chain is currently serving “safe, high-quality pre-sliced products from our normal vendors.”
The company posted a link to the alert on its website. It also announced it on its Facebook and Twitter accounts on Sunday, tweeting “Food safety is our #1 & out of an abundance of caution we worked with USDA on a public safety alert.”