Whole Foods Market is recalling Explorateur French Triple Crème Cheese because tests of samples showed contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly foodborne pathogen.

“The issue was discovered when Whole Foods Market was notified by a distributor of a positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the company’s recall notice, posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

The recalled Explorateur French Triple Crème cheese products are labeled under the names “Explorateur,” “Explorateur French Triple Crème Cheese,” and “Explorateur Triple Crème French Cheese.” All of the recalled cream cheese had “sell by” dates from Feb. 2 through March 3 this year. Consumers can identify the recalled products, which were cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap and sold in branded 8-ounce packages.

Certain Whole Foods stores in New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey sold the crème cheese with differing labeling information. Consumers can identify the recalled cheese products by looking for the specific store locations and labeling details as follows:

  • Products sold as Explorateur French Triple Crème with scale labels beginning with the PLU code 0294317 and sold at three stores — 90 E. Putnam Ave. in Greenwich, CT;  222 Main St. in Madison, NJ, and 701 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, NJ;
  • Products sold as Explorateur Triple Crème French Cheese with scale labels beginning with PLU code 203971 and sold at two stores — 7245 Lake St. in River Forest, IL, 760 Waukegan Road in Deerfield, IL;
  • Products sold as Explorateur with scale labels beginning with PLU code 293693 and sold at two stores — 753 Cerillos Road in Santa Fe, NM, and 100 Pitt Street in El Paso, TX; and
  • Products sold as Explorateur in 8-ounce branded packages with the UPC number 339001000408 and one of four lot codes H10, H010, H11 or H011, sold at six stores — 753 Cerillos Road in Santa Fe, NM, 100 Pitt Street in El Paso, TX, 7245 Lake Street in River Forest, IL, 760 Waukegan Road in Deerfield, IL, 501 Bowman Road in Little Rock, AR, and 11920 Domain Drive in Austin, TX.

“Customers who purchased these products at Whole Foods Market can bring a valid receipt into stores for a full refund,” according to the recall notice. Consumers can call 1-844- 936-8255 with additional questions.

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 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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