50,000 Pounds Of Sausage Is Being Recalled. Are Charcuterie Boards In Danger?

In 2020, Insider reports there was apparently something about the pandemic that made the quarantined culinary world decide the fancy charcuterie boards were meant for greater and more trendy things. And ever since these snack-filled boards first exploded on the internet three years ago, per Insider, the popularity of the artful entertaining practice has not lost momentum. 

As Bake Magazine reports, in 2021, the number of foodies searching for charcuterie increased by around 300%. And in the final days of 2022, the president of Olli Salumeria, a company that produces some of the best-selling charcuterie board-ready cheese and meat cuts, told the same outlet that the trend of slapping finger foods on a wooden board was "more popular than ever." However, this year, charcuterie boards may become an endangered species.

At their core, charcuterie boards are composed of a few essential ingredients: cheese, meat, produce, crackers, and dip. But while any type of meat can be used to make a foolproof charcuterie board, one of the most popular is sausage. And according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, on January 29, more than 50,000 of the sausages that are frequently used to assemble this dinner party favorite were recalled, via The Hill. Here's why.

Listeria could end the charcuterie board trend

As reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Daniele International, a producer of gourmet snack packs and pre-prepared meats per its website, is recalling eight products. According to the USDA, the Food Safety and Inspection Service discovered that Listeria monocytogenes was present throughout the company's facilities, which is known for its ability to cause the disease Listeriosis. As Good Morning America reports, if contracted, those not susceptible to illness can experience fever and diarrhea. However, it can have dangerous side effects for the elderly, pregnant, and immunocompromised.

According to the organization, the USDA inspection mark on the recalled products features "Est 54" in its center. Of the possibly contaminated items, two are charcuterie-style sample trays. The rest are pre-made sausages like salami. While there are no reported cases of listeriosis brought on by these products so far, the FSIS urges consumers to avoid these items and, if they are already in your refrigerator for your next big dinner party, to throw them away — which leaves charcuterie board influencers and their followers in a tough spot, per Insider.

However, while this charcuterie favorite may be dangerous to consume, your board doesn't have to be permanently retired. You'll just have to follow TikTok's "board night" trend and take to piling your board with less conventional charcuterie-themed eats like candy, per Wired. But for those who are stark meat and cheese charcuterie board traditionalists, the charcuterie party just might be over.