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Reser's expands nationwide recall of salads, salsas and meat products

Reser's Fine Foods Inc. of Beaverton, Ore., has expanded a recall of refrigerated ready-to-eat foods including potato salad, cole slaw and salsa distributed in the U.S. and Canada because they may be contaminated with listeria, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. 

Earlier this week, the firm recalled 109,000 cases of refrigerated foods and 22,800 pounds of chicken, ham and beef products produced at the company's Topeka, Kan., plant. In a recall notice issued earlier by the Food and Drug Administration, the firm had said there were no reports of illness tied to the recalls. Late Saturday, the firm issued an expanded recall notice and said there were no "confirmed" reports of illness. 

That means consumers should check their refrigerators for any of the products sold widely at stores including Walmart, Safeway and Target. In healthy people, infections from listeria bacteria can cause symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, abdominal pain and nausea. In children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, the infections can cause severe illness. They can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women and severe infections in newborns. 

The recalled products were manufactured at the Topeka salad manufacturing facility, the firm said. No other Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc. manufacturing facilities are involved in this recall. Representatives for Reser's would not say what the volume of product was covered by the expanded recall or elaborate on the possible number or type of illnesses reported in connection with the original or expanded recalls. A company representative said consumers should check the list of potentially affected food products. 

The problem was discovered through microbiological testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. A traceback investigation and follow-up testing by the FDA determined that there was potential cross-contamination of products with Listeria monocytogenes from contaminated surfaces, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. 

Consumers who purchased the product may take it back to the store for a refund or discard it.

For more information please contact Reser’s Fine Foods Consumer Hotline 1-888-257-7913 between 8am and 8pm EST. Consumers concerned about illness should contact a healthcare provider. 

JoNel Aleccia is a senior health reporter with NBC News. Reach her on Twitter at @JoNel_Aleccia or 
send her an email.