CHICAGO Daniele Inc is recalling about 1.24 million pounds (562,500 kg) of pepper-coated salami and other meat products that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Saturday.
Daniele believes black pepper is a possible source of contamination and voluntarily recalled all of its products associated with black pepper, the USDA said.
A sample of one of the company's products contained Salmonella, the USDA said. That product was similar to foods bought by customers who later became sick in the investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella known as Montevideo.
No direct link has been confirmed and more testing is ongoing, the USDA said.
Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a bacterial foodborne illness that can be life threatening, especially to people with weakened immune systems.
From July 1, 2009, through January 22, 184 people from 38 U.S. states were reported to be infected with a strain of Salmonella Montevideo, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No deaths have been reported.
Family-owned Daniele, which is based in Rhode Island, said preliminary results showed 11 people who got sick had eaten "salame" products from its "Daniele Italian Brand Gourmet Pack."
In total, 18 products sold at delis and grocery stores were listed in the recall. Products being recalled include All Natural Salame coated with coarse black pepper sold under the Daniele and Boar's Head brand names.
Consumers or food distributors with questions were asked to call (888) 345-4160.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; Editing by Peter Cooney)