Canadian officials have found Listeria monocytogenes in a test sample of Pezzetta brand Montasio DOP cheese and are warning people to not eat the product, which is being recalled.

Complicating the situation is the fact that the labeling on the recalled cheese is inconsistent, according to the recall notice on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website. The recalled cheese is known to have been sold at stores in Ontario and Quebec.

recalled Montasio DOP cheese Pezzetta brand“Please note that some product packages may not bear the same brand or product name as described below, or a brand at all. Also, this product may have been sold clerk-served from deli counters with or without a label. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected product are advised to contact the retailers,” according to the recall notice.

The recalled cheese was sold at the following retail locations from March 24 through May 1:

  • Del Fresh Foods, 6923 Steeles Avenue West, Unit 43-44, Etobicoke, Ontario; and
  • Importation Berchicci Ltée, 6205 Boulevard Couture, Saint-Léonard, Quebec.

For the cheese that was sold in its branded packaging, consumers can identify it by the following label information — Pezzetta brand Montasio DOP Cheese

in variable sizes with various UPC numbers.

“Consumers should not consume the recalled product,” according to the recall notice. “Check to see if you have recalled product in your home. Recalled product should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.

“Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.”

Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk, according to the recall notice. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases, people can die.

It can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop, so anyone who has eaten the recalled cheese is urged to monitor themselves in the coming weeks.

Similarly, anyone who has eaten the recalled cheese and developed Listeria infection symptoms should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen so the proper diagnostic tests can be performed.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)