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Listeria outbreak prompts recall of cheeses sold at more than a dozen retailers


Old Europe Cheese, Inc., based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, is issuing a voluntary recall of its Brie and Camembert cheeses due to a possible listeria outbreak, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Affected cheeses were sold at about a dozen major retailers in the United States and Mexico, the FDA said.

Recalled products have a best-by date of December 14, 2022, and were distributed between August 1 and September 28, 2022.

Retailers likely to sell the recalled cheeses 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 and Whole Foods, said the company.

However, other retailers may have received the recalled products as well, and not all stores on the list may have actually received the affected cheeses.

Additionally, the FDA press release said some recalled products may have been repackaged into smaller containers by retailers and sold with different labeling and product information.

Listeria outbreak prompts recall of cheeses sold at more than a dozen retailers

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism “that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems,” the FDA said. It can cause high fever, headache, stiffness, nausea and diarrhea. In pregnant women, it can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

The FDA has linked six cases of listeria from 2017 to 2022 to a strain found in samples taken at Old Europe Cheese’s Michigan facility, even though the company’s products were not previously linked to the cases.

Cases were found in California, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Five of the six resulted in hospitalization; No deaths have been reported, according to an investigation between the FDA, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state health officials.

The FDA advises consumers who may have purchased any of the products to discard them, as well as use extra vigilance when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that may have come into contact with the products. The FDA also noted that listeria can survive in refrigerated environments.

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