Food & Drink

The possibility of listeria in this cheese caused FDA to issue a public health alert

Listeria is rare but dangerous

Listeria is a bacteria that can cause food-borne illness, known as listeriosis. It can grow in foods such as uncooked meats, vegetables, soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk.
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Listeria is a bacteria that can cause food-borne illness, known as listeriosis. It can grow in foods such as uncooked meats, vegetables, soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk.

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.

L’explorateur listeria cheese _fitted.jpeg
FDA

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.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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