Listeria outbreak causes cheese recall from Publix, Target, Meijer and other chains

The investigation of listeria cases spread over six states caused the recall of 24 brands of brie and camembert cheeses, including some store brands, from some of the nation’s top selling grocery chains.

Here’s what you need to know:

What’s listeria?

Listeria kills about 260 of the 1,600 Americans infected each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Senior citizens, pregnant women and children under 5 are the most vulnerable to listeria’s worse effects. Listeria can cause stillbirths and miscarriage. Listeria symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, high fever, severe headaches, stomachaches, stiffness, confusion and poor balance.

How many people are sick and where are they?

The CDC’s Friday update put the number sick at six people in six states — California, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts — five of whom were hospitalized.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the CDC said. “This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for listeria.”

But, the CDC says five people were interviewed and four said they ate brie or camembert cheese. One person remembered the brand was Lidl Premium Brand Brie. Old Europe Cheese makes Lidl Premium Brand Brie.

What cheeses are recalled?

Old Europe Cheese makes brie and/or camembert cheeses for the following 24 brands, all of which are listed in the FDA-posted recall notice. All the below brands of brie or camembert with best by dates from Sept. 28 through Dec. 14 have been recalled.

In the Old Europe-written, FDA-posted recall notice, the company says, “This action was triggered after a full environmental audit of 120 samples, both of the product and of the company’s facilities. None of the products showed contamination, but one of the facilities’ samples tested positive.”

Black Bear

Block & Barrel

Charmant

Cobblestreet Mkt.

Culinary Tours

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, the store brand for Fresh Thyme market.

Glenview Farms

Good & Gather, Target’s store brand.

Heinen’s store brand

Joan of Arc, a Saputo Specialty Cheese brand.

La Bonne Vie Brie, an Old Europe brand sold at Publix.

One of the La Bonne Vie cheeses recalled, the Soft-Ripened Brie
One of the La Bonne Vie cheeses recalled, the Soft-Ripened Brie

Lidl’s store brand.

One person who fell ill during the recall remembered eating Premium Cheese by Lidl’s Brie cheese.
One person who fell ill during the recall remembered eating Premium Cheese by Lidl’s Brie cheese.

Life in Provence

Maitre D’, a Saputo Specialty Cheese brand.

Market 32 by Price Chopper, a store brand for Market 32 and Price Chopper stores.

Market 32 by Price Chopper Camembert
Market 32 by Price Chopper Camembert

Fredericks by Meijer, a store brand sold at Meijer, a Midwest chain of Walmart-like big box stores.

One of the Frederick’s by Meijer cheeses recalled.
One of the Frederick’s by Meijer cheeses recalled.

Metropolitan

Primo Taglio, a store brand at Safeway and Albertsons.

Primo Taglio Slicing Rectangle of Soft-Ripened Brie
Primo Taglio Slicing Rectangle of Soft-Ripened Brie

Red Apple Cheese

Reny Picot, an Old Europe brand with several varieties of brie and camembert cheeses in this recall.

The label on 14-ounce packs of Reny Picot Brie cheese
The label on 14-ounce packs of Reny Picot Brie cheese

Saint Randeaux

SE Grocers, the store brand for Winn Dixie, Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarkets.

SE Grocers Prestige Triple Creme Brie, sold at Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarkets and Fresco y Mas
SE Grocers Prestige Triple Creme Brie, sold at Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarkets and Fresco y Mas

Taste of Inspirations

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Slicing Brie Cheese
Trader Joe’s Slicing Brie Cheese

What should you do now?

If you have any of the recalled cheeses, throw them out or return them to the store for a full refund. Also, clean and sanitize any surfaces in the house — dishes, counters, refrigerator shelves — the cheese might have touched.

If you have any questions, call Old Europe at 269-925-5003, ext. 335, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern time.