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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a health alert Friday due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination of l’Explorateur soft ripened cheese.

l’Explorateur soft ripened cheese
Image/FDA

The pasteurized, cow’s milk cheese was made by in St. Simeon, France and distributed throughout the U.S. The FDA advises consumers and retailers to not eat, sell, or serve cheese labeled as l’Explorateur.

L’Explorateur cheese has been packaged in clear plastic containers and is sold in the form of small, circular wheels in 250g quantities. The sell by dates on the package include May 7, 2019 and May 14, 2019. Product lot codes are 7742-H 057 and 77432-H 064. Cheese labeled as such should be thrown away immediately.

Listeriosis is a rare but serious illness usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. Anyone who experiences fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, or develops fever and chills after eating any of the products described above, should seek medical care.

Symptoms can appear from a few days up to a few weeks after consumption of the contaminated food. Listeriosis can be fatal, especially in certain high-risk groups. These groups include the elderly and people with weakened immune systems and certain chronic medical conditions (such as cancer). In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and serious illness or death in newborn babies.