Due to a possible listeria contamination, Overwaitea Foods Group is recalling Ripple Creek Farm brand Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reports the product has been distributed in B.C. and Alberta and anyone who has the recalled product should either throw it away or return it to the store where it was purchased.

Symptoms of listeria include nausea, persistent fever, vomiting, muscle aches, severe headaches and neck stiffness. Food contaminated with listeria monocytogenes may not look or even smell spoiled but can still make a person sick.

There have been no reported illnesses linked to the consumption of the product and the CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the product from the marketplace.

Shawn Ashdown, assistant store manager at Cooper’s Foods in Merritt, told the Herald the store follows recall procedures for events such as this, but made no further comment on the possible listeria contamination of the product, which is carried at stores such as Cooper’s.

Calls to OFG’s media relations department went unanswered by press time.

The recall was triggered by another recall in the United States, CFIA spokesperson Lisa Murphy told the Herald.

On Jan. 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall of 67,113 pounds of spiral sliced ham products due to the possible contamination by Gusto Packing.

Some of the hams were exported to Canada while the others were shipped to wholesalers for distribution in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

The USDA reported that Gusto Packing’s internal sampling program found some of its products tested positive for listeria monocytogenes. Those products were frozen and held for reconditioning. Later, Gusto Packing found that some of those ham products inadvertently shipped into commerce. The company then informed FSIS.

Hams labelled Ripple Creek Farm brand Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham with the expiry date of Feb. 14 and case code 71292603312; Centrella Signature Hardwood Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham with Natural Juices, case code 71292603304 are subject to recall.

Amish Valley Fully Cooked Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham, case code 71292645104, packaged on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 is also subject to recall.

The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to other products being recalled.

Murphy said OFG voluntarily recalled the product and the CFIA works with them to ensure the product has been removed.

Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from listeria. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

Severe cases of illness can be fatal.