The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a major recall by Johnston County Hams of several ham products, due to possible Listeria contamination.

Based in Smithfield, N.C., Johnston County Hams ships its products all over the country and is recalling ready-to-eat deli ham items shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, New York, and South Carolina. The current recall affects over 89,000 pounds of their current ham product line.

What exactly is being recalled?

Consumers should check all hams (refrigerated or frozen) labeled Johnston County Hams of Smithfield for the establishment number "EST. M2646" inside the USDA inspection mark. The hams will be marked as weighing between 7-8 pounds and produced between April 3, 2017, and October 2, 2018.

The USDA has identified five products by Johnston County Hams that are subject to this recall:

  • Johnston County Hams Inc. Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham (plastic-wrapped between 7-8 pounds)
  • Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham (plastic-wrapped with Sell By dates from 4/10/18-9/27/19, between 7-8 pounds)
  • Padow's Hams & Deli, Inc. Fully Cooked Country Ham Boneless Glazed with Brown Sugar (plastic-wrapped, between 7-8 pounds)
  • Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham Less Salt Distributed by: Valley Country Hams LLC (plastic-wrapped, between 7-8 pounds with Sell By dates from 4/10/18-9/27/19)
  • Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked (plastic-wrapped, between 7-8 pounds)

To view the labels of these products, visit the USDA FSIS announcement of this recall.

Why is this being recalled?

The USDA was notified on September 27, 2018, that someone diagnosed with listeriosis was reported as having eaten a ham product from Johnston County Hams. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the FSIS and public health officials, investigated and determined the scope of the recall with the assistance of agricultural officials. To date, four cases of listeriosis have been confirmed across the country, including one death, between July 8, 2017, and August 11, 2018.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis when eaten. This infection can cause serious damage to the elderly, pregnant women and their newborns, and persons with weakened immune systems. Other patient groups may also be affected, but the aforementioned groups are at an increased risk. Listeriosis can cause many gastrointestinal symptoms, fever, muscle aches, headaches and a myriad of other issues. For more information on Listeria monocytogenes and listeriosis, visit the CDC website related to this recall and the current outbreak.

I have a recalled item; what should I do now?

The recalled products should be returned to the place of purchase or thrown away. The investigation is ongoing, and the recall notices will be updated as new information is available.

Contact Rufus Brown, plant manager for Johnston County Hams, with any questions regarding the recall at (919) 934-8054. The FSIS has established a virtual assistant, "Ask Karen," available 24 hours a day to answer food safety questions at

Click here for the full USDA recall announcement.

Do you have one of the recalled ham products? Where did you get it in the DMV? Let us know in the comments below.

West Nile virus is at an all-time high in Virginia!