A Louisiana-based meat packing company has expanded its recall to include nearly half a million pounds of meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The FSIS was first alerted to the possibility of contaminated meat on April 5, 2013, when the Tennessee Department of Agriculture found the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes in a sample of roast beef.

The Listeria bacteria can cause a rare but extremely dangerous - and possibly fatal - disease called listeriosis. So far, no actual illnesses connected to Manda-brand meats have been reported.

In a statement released on April 13, Manda Fine Meats stated that it would be recalling all deli meat products produced between February 27, 2013 and April 9, 2013 at Manda's Baker Establishment. The items are those labeled with sell-by dates between May 13, 2013 and July 2, 2013, and include:

  • Roast beef
  • Ham
  • Turkey breast
  • Tasso pork
  • Ham shanks
  • Hog head cheese
  • Corned beef
  • Pastrami

In total, the recall will include 468,000 pound of meat from retail locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The FSIS has a complete list of the specific products and brands included in the recall.

"We are committed to work with USDA in reviewing and enhancing our food safety system so we can continue to ensure that our products are safe," said Josh Yarborough, director of quality assurance for Manda.

Typically, a healthy person will not develop the disease, even after coming in contact with the bacteria. However, certain people are at risk, including the elderly, infants, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of listeriosis can include fever, headaches, neck stiffness, and nausea. Because of the potentially serious consequences of infection (which include miscarriage in pregnant women and even death in some cases), it's important to consult a health care professional immediately if you think you may be experiencing listeriosis symptoms.

The disease is also known to spread quickly and dramatically; in 2011, 30 people died from listeriosis in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the worst foodborne illness outbreak on record. In that case, the bacteria were spread via tainted cantaloupes from a Colorado farm.