Fratelli Beretta Italian-Style Deli Meats Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

The products, sold at Costco, have been recalled

Packages of Fratelli Beretta uncured antipasto Source: USDA

Fratelli Beretta has voluntarily recalled more than 860,000 pounds of uncured antipasto meats because they may be contaminated with salmonella, the Department of Agriculture announced Friday. The products were part of 12-ounce uncured antipasto trays, sold as a two-pack exclusively at Costco stores nationwide.

Earlier last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified this product as a likely cause of at least some of the illnesses in an ongoing salmonella outbreak.

The products, which contain prosciutto, soppressata, Milano salami, and coppa, carry “best by” dates of Aug. 27, 2021, through  Feb. 11, 2022, and UPC code 073541305316.

Currently, 36 people have become ill, and 12 of them have been hospitalized. Just over one-third of them reported eating meat from Fratelli Beretta-brand prepackaged Uncured Antipasto trays. Meats sliced at a deli are not involved in this outbreak, the CDC says.

The company is actively and voluntarily cooperating and coordinating with federal, state, and local health authorities, it said in a press release.

On Aug. 24, the CDC announced that two salmonella outbreaks were linked to Italian-style meats, such as salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata, but did not name a brand. As a result, Consumer Reports’ food safety experts advised consumers to not eat any of these meats until more information was available.

More on food safety

“With this new information, consumers now have a specific product they should avoid, but the CDC says the investigation is still ongoing to see if other products are linked to illnesses,” says Sana Mujahid, PhD, manager of food safety and testing at Consumer Reports. “So we’d suggest that people who are at high risk for serious illness from salmonella be cautious about eating any Italian-style deli meats.” These include older people, children, and those with compromised immune systems.

Heating deli meats to 165° F will kill the bacteria, Mujahid says. “But it’s not all that easy to check the temp of thinly sliced deli meat,” she adds.

So far, people in 17 states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington—have been affected with either Salmonella typhimurium or Salmonella infantis. Although the CDC was originally treating this as two separate outbreaks, the agency says it is now one investigation. The first illnesses occurred in May.

The agency says the actual number of people sickened is probably much higher because many people recover and are not tested. For every confirmed case of salmonella, an additional 30 people are estimated to have become ill, the CDC says. At the same time, it can take up to four weeks to determine whether a person with confirmed salmonella is part of an outbreak. 

If you have these products in your refrigerator, don’t eat them, the CDC says. Throw them away or return them to a Costco store for a refund.

Salmonella Symptoms

Summertime can be a prime time for salmonella contamination, Mujahid says, because it’s easier for the bacteria to grow in warmer weather. “And foods left sitting out on platters at a party or cookout can exacerbate the problem,” she adds.

Diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps are the most common symptoms of salmonella, which can occur as soon as 6 hours and up to six days after exposure, according to the CDC. Most people recover without medical intervention. 

Call your doctor if you have signs of dehydration—you produce very little urine, your mouth and throat are dry, you feel dizzy when you stand—or if you have diarrhea for more than three days that doesn’t improve, bloody stools, or diarrhea with a fever of 102° F or higher. 

People older than 50, children younger than 5, and people with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk. So is anyone who regularly takes medication to reduce the amount of acid in their stomach. That’s because doing so might also reduce the amount of good bacteria in the gut that would usually otherwise fight off bad bacteria such as salmonella.

The Details

Product recalled: Fratelli Beretta 12-ounce Uncured Antipasto trays sold as a two-pack at Costco with “best by” dates of Aug. 27, 2021 through  Feb. 11, 2022 and UPC code 073541305316.

The problem: The meat may be contaminated with salmonella.

The fix: Throw the product away or return it to Costco for a full refund.

How to contact the manufacturer: Consumers with questions can call Fratelli Beretta’s recall hotline at 1-866-918-8738.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated. It was originally published Aug. 24, 2021.

Head shot of CRO author Lisa Gill

Lisa L. Gill

As a dorky kid, I spent many a Saturday at the Bloomington, Ind., public library, scouring Consumer Reports back issues for great deals. Now, as a (much) bigger kid, that's still my job! Identifying products and services, especially in healthcare, that are safe, effective, and affordable—and highlighting those that aren't—is my top concern. Got a tip? Follow me on Twitter ( @Lisa_L_Gill)