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Panera recalls cream cheese nationwide after test for Listeria

Panera Bread is recalling all 2- and 8-ounce tubs of its cream cheese sold in its U.S. locations because tests of samples showed contamination by Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly foodborne pathogen.

The St. Louis-based chain of bakery-cafes posted the “nationwide pre-emptive, voluntary recall” on Sunday on its website. Cream cheese from only one production day tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, but Panera’s recall includes additional products.

“The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the U.S. with an active shelf life.  We have likewise ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility,” according to a statement from Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president and CEO.

The recall includes all varieties of unexpired 2-ounce and 8-ounce cream cheese products with expiration dates on or before April 2:

  • Recalled 2-ounce varieties of Panera cream cheese are — Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese and Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.
  • Recalled 8-ounce varieties of Panera cream cheese are —  Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.

“Consumers in possession of these products should discard them immediately,” according to the recall notice.

Consumers can contact Panera Bread Customer Service at 855-6-PANERA or visit Panera.custhelp.com for a full refund. For any other questions, please visit www.panerabread.com/recall.

Panera was founded 35 years ago with a single location and now has more than 2,000 bakery-cafes.

Advice to consumers
Listeria monocytogenes is microscopic organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy adults 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.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled Panera cream cheese and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.

Also, because it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, people who have eaten the recalled cream cheese should monitor themselves for symptoms in the coming weeks.

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