Listeria Worries Prompt Another Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese RecallApr 23, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese of Reading, Michigan is again announcing a recall of one of its cheese products over concerns of contamination with the serious, sometimes deadly, Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. This current recall involves Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese’s Oaxaca soft Mexican-style cheese, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The recalled Oaxaca cheese was distributed to retails stores and delis in Illinois and Minnesota and was packaged in 10-pound balls labeled with the name “Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese LLC.” The recall involves production date 3/17/2009 and expiration date 5/20/2009. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled products, to date.
The FDA is urging consumers and retailers to return all unused, recalled Oaxaca cheese products to the manufacturer. Consumers with questions may contact Salvador Torres, Manager, Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese LLC at 1-517-368-5990.
Late last month, Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese expanded an earlier recall, also of cheese products and over concerns of Listeria contamination. That recall, was announced by the FDA and involved certain Asadero and Oaxaca soft Mexican-style cheeses. The original recall, from March 2008, indicated that the Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese products were distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The recall was expanded the following week to include possibly Listeria-contaminated cheeses that were shipped to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Alabama.
Listeriosis, the food poisoning generated by Listeria monocytogenes, is particularly dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those undergoing chemotherapy. In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions. Listeriosis can also cause meningitis and blood poisoning in immune-compromised individuals.
In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth of a baby suffering from the infection. Pregnant women are about 20 times likelier than others to be infected, with about one-third of all Listeriosis cases occurring during pregnancy; the incidence of Listeriosis in newborns is 8.6 per 100,000 live births and the perinatal and neonatal mortality rate (stillbirths and early infant deaths) is a massive 80 percent.
Listeria monocytogenes is responsible for an estimated 2,500 illnesses in the United States annually, with about 200 in every 1,000 cases resulting in death. Listeriosis can take days, even weeks, to develop and can present in anything from a mild flu-like illness to meningitis and septicemia.
News of Listeria contamination is becoming more prevalent. Last week we wrote about an Alfalfa Sprout recall over possible Listeria contamination involving Amalgamated Produce, Inc.’s (API), Specialty Farms, Vermont Sprout House, Nature’s Promise, and BroccoSprouts products. That recall has since been extended to include certain types of Specialty Farms Organic Crunchy Sprouts or Organic Crunchy Pea Mix.
Earlier this month we wrote about how the FDA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency uncovered Listeria contamination in Strubs Norwegian Style Steelhead Salmon and last month we reported on a Peregrina Cheese Corporation’s Queso Fresco cheese recall that was the third in a series of recalls by Peregrina Cheese, all due to possible Listeria contamination.