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October 02, 2022

Listeria outbreak linked to Old Europe brie and camembert cheese

A recall has been issued for products sold by Old Europe Cheese, which are found in stores nationwide including Whole Foods and Giant Foods

Health News Listeria
Listeria cheese recall Courtesy of/U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A listeria outbreak spanning 6 states, including New Jersey, has been linked to cheese sold by Old Europe Cheese, Inc., found in many grocery stores. Old Europe issued a voluntary recall on Sept. 30 of all brie and camembert products distributed between Aug. 1 and Sept. 28 with "Best By" dates through Dec. 14, 2022.

A listeria outbreak has been linked to brie and camembert cheeses sold by the Michigan-based company Old Europe Cheese, Inc., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

Old Europe issued a voluntary recall on Sept. 30 of all brie and camembert products with "Best By" dates through Dec. 14, 2022. The products were distributed between Aug. 1 and Sept. 28, 2022, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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The outbreak has caused 6 illnesses and 5 hospitalizations across 6 states, according to the CDC. One of the illnesses was in New Jersey.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by the Listeria monocytogenes germ, which usually occurs after eating contaminated food. 

The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms usually begin 2 weeks after consuming food contaminated with listeria, but can occur as soon as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after.

Infected people who are not pregnant may experience symptoms like headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, fever and muscle aches.

Symptoms of the disease for pregnant women usually only include fever, fatigue and muscle aches. It can cause pregnancy loss, premature birth, and serious illness or death in newborns.

The contaminated cheese was sold by Old Europe under a variety of brand names, including Black Bear, Good & Gather and Trader Joe, among others. The product was sold at many stores, including Albertsons, Giant Foods, Lidl, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods.

Consumers who have the contaminated cheese in their possession are urged not to eat it and to throw it away, and to call their healthcare providers if symptoms of listeria occur. The CDC encourages people who had the cheese to clean refrigerators, surfaces and containers that may have come into contact with the product 

Investigators are working to determine whether there are additional contaminated products. Consumers can visit the FDA and CDC websites for full details on the recalled products.

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