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After discovering a potential listeria contamination in their ham products, Johnston County Hams is recalling just over 89,000 pounds of “ready-to-eat” ham products. Produced and packaged between April 3rd, 2018 and October 2nd, 2018, these affected products bear the establishment number “EST. M2646.” A connection to other listeria illnesses was made in September after someone affected was able to confirm having eaten Johnston County products, bringing the total number of illnesses to four, including one fatality.

Listeria affects over 1500 people per year, and kills over 250 people annually, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the listeria bacteria usually only causes fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, it can be very dangerous for children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems. It is also particularly dangerous for pregnant women, who are 10 times more likely to become infected. It can cause stillbirths or miscarriages and can also be passed on to the developing fetus.

Those who have purchased affected product are urged to throw them away or return them to the original place of purchase. For more information, you can call Johnston County Hams at (919) 934-8054 or visit