The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a food safety alert after two kinds of cheese—brie and camembert—were linked to a listeria outbreak in late September. So far, six illnesses and five hospitalizations have been reported in at least six states across the country, including California, Texas, Michigan, Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
The cheeses, made by Old Europe Cheese, Inc., were sold at various grocers, including Albertsons, Giant Foods, Lidl, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, and “many more,” the CDC notes. They were sold under the following brand names: Black Bear, Block & Barrel, Charmant, Cobblestone, Culinary Tour, Fredericks, Fresh Thyme, Glenview Farms, Good & Gather, Heinen’s, Joan of Arc, La Bonne Vie, Lidl, Life in Provence, Market 32, Matrie’d, Metropolitan, Prestige, Primo Taglio, Red Apple Cheese, Reny Picot, St. Randeaux, St. Rocco, Taste of Inspiration, and Trader Joe’s.
The recalled products each have a sell-by date from September 28 to December 14. You can check the packaging details (including the universal product codes) of the affected products here.
Listeria causes about 1,600 infections (known as listeriosis) in the US each year, per the CDC. People are usually exposed to the bacteria after eating contaminated food, and the flu-like illness it causes can be serious for newborns, pregnant people, older people, and immunocompromised people.
If you suspect you have the recalled cheese in your home, you should definitely toss it. This isn’t the time to skimp on cleaning your kitchen afterward, either. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s statement on the recall, you should thoroughly clean and sanitize anything the cheese may have come in contact with (such as cutting boards, food storage containers, or countertops) to reduce your risk of getting sick.
If you had the recalled cheese in your home and you start noticing signs of illness, like fever, fatigue, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should touch base with a doctor to be on the safe side, if you can. In certain cases, antibiotics are recommended to treat listeriosis.
The bottom line: If you have cheese in your fridge, it doesn’t hurt to check it out and make sure you’re in the clear.
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