John Morrell & Co. voluntarily reported the danger of Listeria monocytogenes, the service said in a statement. It produced the food on March 5 and distributed it to retail outlets nationwide.
Listeria can cause listeriosis, a rare but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people are rarely susceptible, but people with weak immune systems are particularly at risk. Especially susceptible are infants, the frail, the elderly, chronic disease sufferers, HIV-infected people and patients undergoing chemotherapy.
"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we want consumers to be aware of the recall," said Linda Swacina, the service's assistant administrator. Shoppers should return the products to the point of purchase.
The meat industry wants to rewrite rules from the former Clinton administration that would require makers of hot dogs, cold cuts and other ready-to-eat meat products test plant equipment for Listeria monocytogenes, saying they are too restrictive.
The Bush administration is undertaking an analysis of the risk and has delayed enforcement of the Clinton-era rules.
The food service statement did not explain where and how the John Morell company discovered the danger.
The following products bear "P-2564" inside the USDA seal of inspection:
The following products bear "EST. 296" inside the USDA seal of inspection: