In a major US food recall, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. has withdrawn all Brie and Camembert cheeses with best-by dates ranging from September 28 to December 14 due to possible contamination with listeria. The recall was triggered after one out of 120 samples of the company’s product and facilities’ samples tested positive following a full environmental audit.
The affected products, which could have also been repackaged as own-brand cheeses by supermarkets, had been distributed nationwide in the US and Mexico between August 1 and September 28 at retailers including Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer, Harding’s, Shaw’s, Price Chopper, Market Basket, Raley’s, Save Mart, Giant Foods, Stop & Shop, Fresh Thyme, Lidl, Sprouts, Athenian Foods, and Whole Foods.
“Consumers who have purchased the stated Brie and Camembert products are urged not to consume it and discard the product,” said the FDA. “FDA recommends in these cases that anyone who purchased or received any recalled products to use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.”
The strain from that positive case has been linked to six cases of listeriosis dating from 2017 to 2022, the Food and Drug Administration reported. “The source of potential contamination has been identified and Old Europe Cheese is taking active measures to eliminate it,” the agency added. “Production of these products has been stopped and will not restart until the company has full confidence in the effectivity of the applied measures.”
Old Europe Cheese said in a statement: “The company is working closely with state and federal authorities and with its clients to make this voluntary recall as fast and efficient as possible. The quality and safety of our products is our number one priority. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this situation. Old Europe Cheese’s top priority is the health of our customers.”
A full list of the affected products can be found here.
In Canada, Certain Nature has been forced to recall mozzarella cheese products from its Nature’s Best and Zavat Chalav brands due to possible listeria contamination. The products must not be consumed, served, used, sold or distributed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently conducting a safety inspection, ‘which could lead to the recall of other products,’ the body said.
The affected products, listed below, have been sold in Ontario and Quebec and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories. No illnesses have been reported.
6 80852 00184 6
Best Before: 2023/01/20
Light Mozzarella Thins
6 80852 91089 6
Best Before: 23/01/20
Shredded Light Mozzarella
6 8085 291044 5
Best Before: 2023/01/21
Back in the US, Whole Foods Market has issued a voluntary recall for Zento Fontal cheese over undeclared allergen.
Products from 54 stores in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have been withdrawn after it was discovered that they contained egg lysozyme, an egg white protein that could trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction in people allergic to eggs. The mislabling had been flagged by a customer complaint.
The products were located in the Specialty department of supermarkets and were packaged by the slice with Whole Foods Market scale labels. The affected cheeses can be identified by the name “Zerto Fontal”, a product code of 20565300000, sell by dates of September 21, 2022 to October 20, 2022, and were available for purchase from September 21 through September 29, 2022.