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Listeria Test Prompts Cheese Recall

An Elizabeth, New Jersey company has recalled some bulk cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


In a news release, Atalanta Corp. said that after routine testing by the Belgium manufacturer revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, the company recalled less than 70 cases of its “Nazareth Classic” and “Nazareth Light” cheeses.

The cheeses were distributed mostly in North East retail stores. Recall notices were sent to  retail outlets that received the potentially affected product. All remaining inventory has been quarantined and will be destroyed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration supervision.

No illnesses have been reported.

The product comes in bulk (2 loafs, 6-7 lbs. per case). The cheese is usually sold at retail in random weight cuts. Labels read Nazareth Classic and Nazareth Light — imported by Atalanta Corp. The affected lots are 5030008, 5030009, 11350044, 11350045, 11350046, 10840120 and are marked with expiration dates of March 13, 2011 through July 29, 2011.

Wedge cuts of the recalled “Nazareth Classic and Nazareth Light” cheese can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 908-351-8000 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST).

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

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