Listeria outbreak prompts Michigan company to recall cheeses sold at a dozen retailers

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(CNN) — Benton Harbor-based Old Europe Cheese, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of its Brie and Camembert cheeses due to a possible listeria outbreak, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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

The recalled products contain a best buy date through December 14, 2022 and were distributed between August 1 and September 28, 2022.

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Retailers that likely sold 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 , the company said.

However, other retailers may also have received the recalled products, and not all stores listed may have received the affected cheeses.

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

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism “that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the frail or elderly, 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 from Old Europe Cheese’s Michigan facilities, although the company’s products have not previously been linked to the cases.

Cases have been 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 authorities.

The FDA advises consumers who may have purchased any of the products to throw them away, as well as exercise extra vigilance when cleaning and disinfecting all 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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