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Luncheon Meat recalled over contamination fears

Oct 25,2018
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Luncheon Meat
A popular canned meat brand is being recalled for bacterial contamination.

“We are now recalling Luncheon Meat products and accepting refund requests for all our canned ham products,” read an apology posted on food brand Chungjungone’s website on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced that it confirmed a bacterial presence in food giant Daesang’s Chungjungone Luncheon Meat, a canned ham product akin to Spam. It tested a can of Luncheon Meat product manufactured at Daesang’s factory in Cheonan, South Chungcheong, on May 17, 2016, that was brought forward by a suspicious consumer. The contaminated Luncheon Meat has an expiration date of May 15 of next year and weighs 115 grams (4.1 ounces).

“Our company will halt all production and sales of our canned ham products until we confirm the routes of contamination and are able to guarantee safety,” read the company apology. The apology was signed by Daesang CEO Lim Jung-bae.

If processed and stored properly, canned meat should not have any bacteria.

The Food and Drug Safety Ministry also cautioned consumers.

“Consumers who have purchased Luncheon Meat products should stop consumption and contact the company’s customer service center or return the items to the point of purchase,” a spokesman from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said.

The company has yet to offer an explanation as to how the product might have become contaminated, however.

“The products [found contaminated] were all sterilized and passed the test for bacterial contamination when they left production facilities,” said a spokesman for Chungjungone.

“Because they were manufactured over two years ago, if bacteria had entered the products during the manufacturing process, they should be stale by now, but that’s not the case.”


BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]