The Food and Drug Administration has updated information on its investigation into an outbreak of infections from Listeria monocytogenes associated with Brie and Camembert cheeses to include additional retailers that received the recalled products.
The outbreak has sickened at least six people from coast to coast with five having required hospitalization, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Old Europe Cheese Inc. distributed the products nationwide and some of them have best-by dates extending into December. The company packaged the cheeses under 25 different name brands including Trader Joe’s, Fresh Thyme, Prestige and Block & Barrel, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The company initially recalled some cheeses on Sept. 30 and expanded the recall on Oct. 5. Click here for a list of retailers that received the cheeses, the specific kinds of recalled cheeses and the brands they are packaged under.
“The source of potential contamination has been identified and Old Europe Cheese is taking active measures to eliminate it. Production of these products has been stopped and will not restart until the company has full confidence in the effectiveness of the applied measures,” the FDA has previously reported.
One of the production facility’s samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The strain from that positive case has been linked to six cases of listeriosis. FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine if additional products are potentially contaminated.
The confirmed patients live in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas. The most recent had symptom onset on Aug. 5, but it can take up to 70 days for symptoms to develop. With the expanded recall having been posted on Oct. 5 there is the possibility that additional patients may be identified.
There is concern that consumers may still have recalled products in their homes because of the long shelf life of the cheeses. Some of the cheeses have best-by dates of Dec. 14.
About Listeria infections
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 recalled products 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 products 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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