WASHINGTON – Margherita Meats Inc., an Omaha, Neb.-based subsidiary of Smithfield Packaged Meats Inc., recalled approximately 11,000 lbs of ready-to-eat pepperoni over concerns it contained Bacillus cereus, according to a Dec. 14 notice from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The unsliced product was produced on June 17, 2021, and was shipped to retail customers throughout the United States.

The contamination was discovered during routine testing of product samples by the Department of Defense, which was reported to the FSIS. The products subject to the recall are: 8-oz plastic shrink-wrapped packages containing unsliced pepperoni “Margherita PEPPERONI” with lot code P1931C and a “use by date” of 12-14-21 on the label and establishment number “EST. 19” on the USDA mark of inspection.

According to the FSIS, B. Cereus is a toxin-producing microorganism that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Those with compromised immune systems are susceptible to more severe illness. There have been no reports of illness linked to the consumption of the products.