Stay away from all Maple Leaf deli meat products bearing an “Est. #97B” stamp, says a warning from Yukon Environmental Health Services.
The meat is being voluntarily recalled by the company.
The products may be contaminated with a strain of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium responsible for the disease listeriosis, which is characterized by high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.
“Pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk,” said a government release.
While infected pregnant women may be affected by only mild flu-like symptoms, listeriosis can cause premature delivery, infection of the newborn or stillbirth.
Restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and retail counters could all be at risk of carrying the affected products.
In 1981, an outbreak of listeriosis resulted in 41 cases and 18 deaths. The cause was coleslaw made of cabbage that had been fertilized with infected sheep manure.
No direct link has yet been made between the affected products and human illness.
See related story page 12.