Major Grocery Chains Are Pulling 24 Cheese Brands From Shelves Due to a Listeria Outbreak
Cheese lovers, take note. If you have made a trip to your grocery store's cheese aisle in recent weeks, you're going to want to carefully check your fridge.
On September 30, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Michigan-based cheese manufacturer Old Europe Cheese, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of its brie and camembert cheeses after they were tied to a listeria outbreak. The items were sold at several major retailers across the country and in Mexico.
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The affected products, which display "Best By" dates between September 28, 2022, and December 14, 2022, were sold under 24 different brand names. The products were distributed between August 1, 2022, and September 28, 2022, to 16 different retailers, including Albertsons, Giant, Meijer, Safeway, and Whole Foods. See here for the full list of recalled items.
However, as noted by the FDA, "This list may not include all retail establishments that have received the recalled product or may include retail establishments that did not actually receive the recalled product." Additionally, stores may have repackaged bulk Old Europe cheeses into smaller containers and sold the repackaged items that do not have the original labeling and product information described in the FDA's notice.
The issue with the cheeses was discovered after Old Europe Cheese conducted an audit of 120 samples of the company's products and facilities. While none of the products showed contamination, listeria was found in one of the facilities. This particular strain has been linked to six cases of Listeriosis dated from 2017 to 2022. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been five hospitalizations across six states—California, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
The FDA urges consumers who still have the cheeses in their homes to discard them and "use extra vigilance" in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the recalled items.
Symptoms of a listeria infection can include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. While healthy individuals may only experience short-term symptoms, listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Anyone who has experienced these symptoms after consuming the recalled cheeses is encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.
Those who have additional questions about the recall may call Old Europe Cheese at (269) 925-5003 ext 335 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.