Listeria is rare but dangerous
The possibility of listeria in a brand of cheese imported from France caused the FDA to issue a public health alert Friday.
“The FDA advises consumers and retailers to not eat, sell, or serve cheese labeled as l’Explorateur,” the alert read. “This pasteurized, cow’s milk cheese was made by Société Fromagère de la Brie in St. Simeon, France and distributed throughout the U.S.”
The cheese in question has sell-by dates of May 7, 2019, and May 14, 2019, and lot codes 7742-H 057 and 77432-H 064. The FDA advises consumers and retailers to toss out the cheese.
Though this is reported in some outlets as a recall, it’s not. Nobody has been ordered to stop selling or serving the cheese. But the FDA did put an Import Alert on Société Fromagère de la Brie products.
That means the FDA can hold the company’s food products “without physical examination until the firm demonstrates that its products no longer appear to be in violation of the FDA’s requirements.”
Listeria strikes 1,600 people in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and kills 260. It usually brings diarrhea, fever, stomachaches and can be fatal for the elderly, people with damaged immune systems or chronic conditions, such as cancer. If it infects a pregnant woman, listeria can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.