ucm487041Maytag Dairy Farms is voluntarily recalling five lots of “Maytag Blue” blue cheese wedges and wheels and 15 batches of blue cheese crumbles because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Others 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. The recalled product was distributed through retail stores, restaurants, and direct mail orders nationwide between December 11, 2015, and February 11, 2016. Affected products are packaged here. The lot number or batch number appears on the side or the bottom of the product. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue. The potential for contamination was discovered after testing by the State of Iowa revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in two lots of product. Maytag Dairy Farms has voluntarily suspended production and distribution while the company collaborates with FDA and the State of Iowa to determine the cause of the problem. Earlier Maytag recalled product that was packaged on Jan. 6, 2016 and is packaged in 4 oz. wedges, 8 oz. wedges, 2 pound wheels, 4 pound wheels and 5 pound crumbles (batch numbers 960020, 960037, 960040, 960041, 960049, 960053, 960054). The lot included 896 pounds of cheese and was distributed to HoQ restaurant in Des Moines, the Bear Restaurant in Ankeny, Wine Experience in West Des Moines, Fareway in Newton, Lomar Distributing, Inc. in Des Moines or purchased directly from Maytag Dairy Farms.   (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)