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There’s yet another big pepperoni recall making the news. Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp., which brands itself as Margherita Meats, is recalling 10,990 pounds of ready-to-eat pepperoni over concerns it may contain Bacillus cereus bacteria.
The pepperoni in question is the 8-oz package of ready-to-eat unsliced pepperoni labeled Margherita Pepperoni. Check the label for the lot code P1931C and a “use by date” of 12-14-2021. USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has a handy photo of the label—and where these numbers are located—here. The products were shipped to stores all across the U.S., so the recall is nationwide.
The issue was discovered when the Department of Defense conducted routine testing, according to FSIS. Bacillus cereus is common bacteria in the environment that creates two different toxins. One (called an emetic toxin) can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps that can hit as soon as an hour after eating, while the other (an enterotoxin) typically leads to diarrhea several hours later that lasts for a full day. Food poisoning is unpleasant for everyone but can be serious for people with compromised immune systems, according to FSIS.
Luckily, FSIS says no one has reported getting sick from the products yet, but the agency is concerned people may have the pepperoni sitting in their pantries or refrigerators. If that’s the case for you, throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
If you do find yourself sick after eating the pepperoni (or any other potentially contaminated food), know that most people with food poisoning will feel better on their own within a few days, according to the Mayo Clinic, which has some helpful tips for easing foodborne illness symptoms, including:
- Try to stay as hydrated as possible even when it’s hard to keep anything down. Sucking on ice chips or taking smaller sips of water than usual may be helpful.
- Until symptoms subside, avoid items like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and very fatty or spicy foods.
- When you’re able to start eating again, stick to easy-to-digest options that don’t have a ton of flavor, like toast, bananas, and rice.
If your foodborne illness lasts longer than a couple of days or is particularly intense, you may need treatment like over-the-counter meds or antibiotics. In the most severe cases of foodborne illness, people might need to be hospitalized if they can’t stay hydrated.
Smithfield isn’t the only company dealing with a pepperoni recall lately (along with other kinds). As SELF previously reported, Alexander & Hornung, a subsidiary of Perdue Premium Meat Company, had to recall more than 234,000 pounds of ham and pepperoni products earlier this month due to listeria concerns. And DiGiorno recalled their Pepperoni Crispy Pan Crust back in September after the boxes were mislabeled, potentially missing major allergens like soy protein.
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