A Cayuga County, NY, dairy is recalling three kinds of cheese because it has tested positive for Listeria, which can cause serious infections.
A food safety alert posted by the New York State Department of Agriculture warns consumers not to eat “Old Fashioned Raw Milk Monterey Jack,” “Horseradish Monterey Jack” or “Chipotle Adobo Monterey Jack” cheeses, produced by Ripley Dairy LLC, doing business as Hillcrest Dairy in Moravia,NY.
“A routine sample of the cheese, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on Aug. 9, was subsequently tested by the New York State Food Laboratory. It tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the food safety alert.
Test results from the dairy were confirmed on Aug. 17.
In a statement posted on the Hillcrest Dairy Facebook page Wednesday, spokeswoman Shari Ripley “stricter testing policies have been put in place to insure all cheese leaving our facility has been thoroughly tested to provide you the safest product possible.”
The recalled products, which are packaged in plastic shrink wrap and labeled with the plant number 36-3108, have a manufacture date of May 17, 2017, on their labels.
Hillcrest Dairy says it will destroy the affected cheese.
It is not legal to sell raw milk products at the retail level in New York, under the Division of Milk Control & Dairy Services Raw Milk Sales guidelines. Direct sales to consumers are allowed at dairies. However, warning signs are mandatory.
“Notice: Raw milk sold here, raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization.'”
Anyone who has recently consumed the dairy products from Ripley Dairy LLC, dba Hillcrest Dairy, and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should immediately seek medical attention. Patients should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Listeria bacteria so that the proper diagnostic tests can be performed.
It can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, so anyone who has eaten any of the recalled cheese since Mid-May is urged to monitor themselves for symptoms.
Symptoms of listeriosis can include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.
Listeriosis can also cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients.
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