Listeria Outbreak Prompts Recall Of Crave Brothers Cheese
July 7, 2013

Recall Issued For Cheeses Linked To US Listeria Outbreak

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Crave Brothers and Whole Foods Market Inc. have both issued recall notices for a line of cheeses linked to a listeria outbreak responsible for at least one death, various media outlets are reporting.

According to Gillian Mohney of ABC News, the California-based supermarket and health food store chain announced on Friday that they were recalling Crave Brothers Les Freres cheese due to possible contamination with the bacteria. The product was sold in 30 states as well as Washington DC.

On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that one person had died and at least four others had fallen ill due to listeriosis. Those affected range in age from 31 through 67, were diagnosed between May 20 and June 17, and hail from four different states, the agency reported.

Two of the cases involved Minnesota seniors who had to be hospitalized after consuming the cheese, one of whom eventually passed away, and another one of the victims was a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage, according to CNN's Melissa Gray.

"The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is testing samples of the cheese and early results indicate that there is listeria monocytogenes bacteria present in the samples. Further confirmation of these results is pending," Mohney said, adding that the recalled products "were sold at Whole Foods stores under the names les freres and Crave Brothers les freres" and were "covered in plastic wrap with the Whole Foods Market scale labels."

Those who bought the cheese are being advised by Whole Foods to dispose of it, and to bring their store receipts back to the supermarket for a refund, ABC News said. In addition, the Daily Mail reports that Whole Foods has begun posting signs in its stores in order to inform customers of the cheese recall.

In addition, the UK newspaper is reporting that Wisconsin-based Crave Brothers has also announced a voluntary recall of Les Freres, Petit Frere, and Petit Frere with Truffles cheese made on or before July 1. Those cheeses were distributed throughout the US through retail stores, food service outlets and by mail order. Crave Brothers president George Crave has released a statement saying that the company was cooperating with the FDA's ongoing investigation and advising customers not to consume any potentially contaminated products.

Listeriosis is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as "a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes." The disease primarily affects older individuals, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems, the CDC said, and symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, and in some cases diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, the CDC says.