The bells that rang in 1999 sounded more alarming than joyous as manufacturers, government agencies and supermarkets wrestled with an unprecedented series of deaths and illnesses traced to hot dogs and luncheon meats contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes. According to FSIS records, there were nearly three dozen recall cases nationwide involving either Listeria or E.coli 0157:H7 contamination in 1999, compared to just 19 the year before. The first major recall occurred back in January, and ...

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