Golden Glen Creamery of Bow, Washington, is recalling cheeses for possible Listeria contamination. The recall is being conducted with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and involves Red Pepper with Onion and Garlic Cheddar, said the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The recall was initiated after a sample taken by the WSDA was positive for the Listeria pathogen. Samples of the same batch have tested negative through an independent, state-approved lab to which Golden Glen Creamery submitted samples.
To date, no illnesses have been reported; however, as we’ve long cautioned, the Listeria pathogen thrives in cold environments, such as refrigerators, and also has a fairly long incubation period—up to 70 days. Listeria also well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication and length to expected reporting time frames.
The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is a potentially fatal infection that can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems.
Listeria infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.
About 124 pounds of the Red Pepper with Onion & Garlic Cheddar, which was produced on August 30, 2011 and sold from March 1, 2012 through June 7, 2012, are involved. The recalled Golden Glen Creamery cheese was sold in pre-cut, random weight packages, ranging in size from 1/3-to-½-pound pieces. The labels read, in part: “Medium Cheddar – Red Pepper with Onion & Garlic,” “GOLDEN GLEN CREAMERY,” and “Natural handcrafted cheese produced by the Jensen Ladies,” with the three-digit batch code that reads “887.
The recalled cheese was sold at various local area farmers markets in Skagit, Snohomish, and King County, as well as independent retailers in Washington State and Oregon.
Consumers who have purchased the recalled Golden Glen Creamery cheese are urged to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Golden Glen Creamery can be reached at 1.360.766.6455, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST), Monday through Friday, or by email at [email protected].