The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a food safety alert this week regarding a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.
Six people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from six states: California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas. Five people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Interviews with sick people and laboratory data show that brie and camembert made by Old Europe Cheese Inc. may be contaminated with Listeria and may be making people sick. Of the five people interviewed, four (80%) reported eating brie or camembert cheese.
FDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development inspected the Old Europe Cheese facility and identified the outbreak strain of Listeria in a sample collected from the floor in a cooling room.
On September 30, 2022, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. recalled more than 20 brands of brie and camembert cheese. Recalled cheeses were sold nationwide in the United States and Mexico at supermarkets, other retail stores, and wholesale stores.
Investigators are working to determine if additional products may be contaminated.
Health officials are telling the public not to eat recalled cheese.- Throw it away.
- Clean your refrigerator, containers, and surfaces that may have touched the recalled cheese. Listeria can survive in the refrigerator and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.
- Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of severe Listeria illness after eating recalled cheese:
- Pregnant women usually experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. It can also cause serious illness or death in newborns.
- People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.
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Listeria can cause severe illness (known as invasive listeriosis) when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body. Almost all severe illnesses result in hospitalizations and sometimes death.
Symptoms of severe illness usually start within 2 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria, but may start as early as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after.
Pregnant women and their newborns, adults 65 years or older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness.
Other people can be infected with Listeria, but they usually get mild food poisoning symptoms, like diarrhea and fever, and usually recover without treatment.
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