Consumers are being asked to check their fridges following an outbreak of listeria linked to dozens of cheese brands. The recall comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been connected to six reported illnesses, including 5 hospitalizations across six states. Here’s what you need to know.
Why is cheese being recalled?
Old Europe Cheese issued a voluntary recall on 25 brands of brie and camembert on September 30 following the multi-state spread of listeria monocytogenes infections linked to the company.
“We are working closely with state and federal authorities and with our clients to make this voluntary recall as fast and efficient as possible,” Old Europe Cheese shared in a recall notice.
“The quality and safety of our products is our number one priority. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this situation. Old Europe Cheese’s top priority is the health of our customers.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six people have been infected, with five requiring hospitalization. Those infected live in Texas, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Georgia, and California. At this time, no deaths have been reported.
The FDA explained that an analysis of environmental samples taken at the Michigan factor for Old Europe Cheese shows the presence of the same listeria strain linked to the illnesses.
Which products are included in the recall?
According to the CDC, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. has recalled multiple brands of its Camembert and Brie cheeses produced at the Michigan facility. The products were distributed from August 01, 2022, through September 28, 2022, and were available at supermarkets, wholesale and retail stores nationwide, and in Mexico.
Retailers include Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer, Harding’s, Shaw’s, Price Chopper, Market Basket, Raley’s, Save Mart, Giant Foods, Stop & Shop, Fresh Thyme, Lidl, Sprouts, Athenian Foods, Whole Foods, but the FDA notice warns that this list may not exhaustive.
The FDA recall notice also says, “retailers may have repackaged bulk Old Europe Cheese items into smaller containers and sold this repackaged product to consumers.”
A full list of recalled products and stores that potentially sold these products is available on the agency recall notice.
Signs and symptoms of Listeria
According to the CDC, severe illness due to Listeria is typically seen within 2 weeks after eating contaminated foods, but also notes it “may start as early as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after.”
Pregnant people, newborns, people over 65 years old, and those with weakened immune system are at the highest risk for severe illness due to Listeria contamination.
What to do if you have the recalled cheese at home?
Consumers and retailers are asked not to eat, sell, or serve any of the recalled products and ask that they be thrown away. This suggestion includes all the impacted best buy dates in all quantities and flavors.