Canadian authorities confirmed Listeria monocytogenes in a sample of cheese made with raw milk, prompting the recall of Bio Busti brand Pecorino Stagionato. It can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, but there haven’t been any illnesses reported yet.

As with all unpasteurized, raw milk and foods made with it, public health officials worldwide warn of the greatly increased risk of contracting foodborne illnesses from it, including potentially deadly listeriosis, when compared with pasteurized dairy products.

La Cie d’Investissements Côté Inc. distributed the Bio Busti brand Pecorino Stagionato cheese to retailers in Quebec, Canada, according to a recall notice posted Jan. 15 by the Canadian Food Safety and Inspection Agency.

“Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below,”  the notice warns. The cheese has been sold from Marchés Tau retail locations.

The recalled cheese was packaged in various weights with a product code of
L18180540 0202046. No other labeling information except the product name was included in the recall notice. The notice did not have any product photos. 

Test results from samples tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency triggered the recall. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated food recall warnings.

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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