Kentucky company recalls ham products believing Indiana worker may have contaminated food

Sunday, December 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) _ A company has recalled about 250,000 pounds of ham products that a disgruntled employee may have contaminated with nails.

The products, packed at IBP Inc. in Logansport, Ind., were distributed in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Ohio, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Saturday.

Ray McGregor, president and CEO of meat producer Cumberland Gap Provisions Co. of Middlesboro, Ky., said a plant worker apparently put nails or other materials in the meat.

``A couple of people found it and called IBP, and they notified us there might be a problem,'' McGregor said.

McGregor has heard of no contaminated products reaching consumers.

``We have rigid controls and found absolutely nothing,'' McGregor said. ``We were confident there wasn't a problem, but the USDA _ probably as a result of all this terrorist thing _ they're very paranoid and asked us to recall.''

Plant officials did not respond to a message seeking comment Saturday.

Police Sgt. Carl Swan said there has been no arrest.

The recalled products, processed on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19, were packaged as ``Olde Kentucky Boneless Full Cooked Hickory Smoked Ham Water Added,'' ``Cumberland Gap Smoked Hickory Hills Ham Water Added,'' ``Martin's Hickory Smoked Ham Water Added,'' ``Cumberland Gap Boneless Smoked Mini Ham Water Added,'' and ``Pine Mountain Brand Mild Sweet Mountain Cure Naturally Hickory Smoked Fully Cooked Ham Water Added.''

The packing labels contained the code numbers APR0702C, APR0702B, MAR2202B, MAR2202C, 352B or 353C. Also, EST. 8028 appears inside the USDA inspection mark.

IBP is a Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based meat producer that was acquired by Tyson Foods in September and has more than 60 production sites in North America.