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A Popular Hilltop Meadow Farm Cheese Is Being Recalled Due to Listeria

Consumers are being urged to discard the contaminated cheese.

Just days after a recall was issued for cookies featured in holiday gift baskets, consumers are being urged to discard another popular food item that may lead to a serious infection.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently alerted consumers about a food safety issue with the Hilltop Meadow Farm brand's 60 Day Aged Pepper Jack Raw Milk Cheese. The reason? Tests detected the presence of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in the cheese.

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The presence of Listeria monocytogenes in any food item is a major concern because the bacteria can cause humans to contract a serious infection called Listeriosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People who are pregnant, newborns, adults 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to contract illnesses from listeria. While other people can also be infected with Listeria, they rarely become severely ill, per the CDC.

Symptoms from invasive listeria illnesses usually start within two weeks of eating something contaminated with the bacteria. People who are infected may experience fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and even seizures, the CDC said.

While no reported illnesses have been linked to the cheese, Hilltop Meadow Farm—located in Pennsylvania's Schuylkill County—is voluntarily recalling the product. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is also encouraging consumers to discard any blocks of the recalled cheese with sell-by dates of Sept. 21 or earlier. 

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The packaging on the contaminated cheese bears the Hilltop Meadow Farm label and the following two product descriptions: "From A2/A2 Milk" and "Made from 100% Grassfed Cow's Milk." The cheese was sold in half-pound, one-pound, two-and-a-half-pound, and five-pound sizes at Hilltop Meadow Farm's store, as well as at several other stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin. 

Customers can view the full list of stores where the cheese was sold on the recall announcement. The alert also urged anyone who became ill after consuming the cheese to contact their physicians.

This is only the latest major food recall of 2023 caused by listeria contamination. Just last month, for example, more than 10,000 pounds of Don Miguel Foods' frozen carne asada burritos that may have been contaminated with the bacteria were recalled. Several fresh produce items potentially tainted with listeria were also recalled in October.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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