Whole Foods Market Inc. is recalling Crave Brothers Les Frere’s cheese in response to Listeria outbreak because the cheese under Les Freres and Les Freres sold in retail stores in 30 states, and Washington DC may be contaminated.
One elderly person in Minnesota died, and many are sickened after eating bad cheese. Four other people in three Midwestern states have been infected from the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes as of Wednesday.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 52-year-old Ohio woman was hospitalized after being infected by a strain of listeriosis linked to the cheese from Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Co. of Waterloo, Wisconsin.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes affecting pregnant women, older adults, adults with compromised immune system and newborns, cancer patients, diabetics, patients with kidney disease, and AIDS. Symptoms like fever, convulsions, headache, loss of balance, muscle aches, and stiff neck usually begin three weeks after infection but could take up to 70 days to appear.
Infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, stillbirth or miscarriage, meningitis, or infection of the newborn.
Each year, approximately 30 cases of listeriosis occur in Ohio. The five people who got ill from this outbreak on May 20, and June 17 was from ages 31 to 67. Approximately, 1,600 people get sick from Listeria every year in the U.S. It is the third-leading cause of death from food poisoning and one in five people with this infection die. About 90 percent of those infected with Listeria are pregnant women and their newborns.
Listeria is challenging because it can hide unnoticed and grow on refrigerated foods in grocery stores and factories where food is prepared, contaminating deli meats, sprouts, and cheese. The bacteria sources could be found in liquids and foods contaminated with soil or animal feces.
Presently, there are no available tests to detect the bacteria in the stool, but preliminary diagnosis is based on the patient’s likelihood to contaminated food exposure.
If you believe you have been contaminated with Listeria, you must contact your healthcare provider if you develop fever within two months of eating the food, or cheese, according to CDC. If you belong to high-risk groups, you must see your physician right away if you show signs of developing Listeria infection symptoms.
The bad cheese sold in thirty states and distributed around the U.S. through mail order, retail, and food services are feared to be contaminated with Listeria. Voluntary recall of Petit Frere, Les Freres, and Petit Frere with Truffles cheese made on July 1 or before that was announced by Crave Brothers.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas