Listeria causes restaurant chain to recall cream cheese products nationwide

Panera Bread has recalled all of its cream cheese products sold in its bakery-cafes after a sample tested positive for listeria.

The popular chain announced the recall on Sunday via a notice on its website.

“The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the U.S. with an active shelf life. We have likewise ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility,” Panera CEO Blaine Hurst said.

Panera cream cheese I

Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis, a sometimes fatal infection in young children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. Miscarriages and stillbirths can result when pregnant women get infected. Healthy people might have to deal with diarrhea, nausea, harsh headaches, feverish temperatures, stomach pains and muscle stiffness.

Samples from one production day of cream cheese came back positive for listeria, the company said. Samples from before and after that day tested clean.

The recall covers these varieties, all of which are sold in 2-ounce and 8-ounce containers: Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.

Customers with any of these products should toss them and contact Panera at 855-6-PANERA (855-672-6372), Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., or go to the website for a full refund.

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.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal