Green Cedar, a company based in Michigan, is recalling an undisclosed volume of its Ackawi cheese because state and federal inspectors found Listeria contamination.

Because of the long shelf life of the cheese — which has a sell-by date of March 26, 2019 — there is concern that consumers may have the recalled cheese in their homes. The company did not provide any other identifying product codes or labeling information in the recall notice.

As of the posting on the recall notice, no confirmed illnesses had been reported in relation to the cheese. However, it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

People who have purchased the cheese are urged not to consume it. The recalled Green Cedar Ackawi cheese should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase, according to a recall notice posted for the company by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Routine samples of the Green Cedar Ackawi cheese collected and tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development tested positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the recall notice.

“This issue was discovered on Nov. 9, 2018, during a routine inspection by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Food & Dairy Division (MDARD) and by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

The recalled Green Cedar Ackawi cheese is sold in small clear plastic shrink wrapped packaging. The “sell by” date of March 26, 2019, is on a white sticker on the back of the packaging. The company reports distributing the recalled cheese to retail locations East Dearborn and Dearborn Heights MI.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Hussam Harb, plant manager at Green Cedar Dairy, at 313-584-4499.

Advice to consumers
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

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