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: 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.”

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