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Listeria Fears Prompt Whole Foods Cheddar Cheese Recall

Affected cheeses sold under Cahill brand at 44 stores in 22 states

Whole Foods Market issued a voluntary recall of two types of Cahill cheddar cheeses sold in its specialty department due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause serious illness in older adults.

recalled whole foods cahill cheddar with porter cheese

FDA/Courtesy Whole Foods

The grocery chain recalled Cahill Cheddar Porter and Whiskey Cheddar cheeses from 44 stores in 22 states. The products were sold in clear wrapping with a Whole Foods Market label on them. The cheeses have printed “packed on” dates ranging from May 17 to July 26. The following PLU numbers were affected: 93579, 54784 and 94884.

Although no illnesses have been reported, Cahill's Farm Cheese, the manufacturer of the products, said it identified a piece of equipment in its facility as the potential source of the issue and removed it from the production line. All other products manufactured since then have been cleared.

The manufacturer issued its own recall of other cheeses it produced and sold under the Cahill's brand: Irish whiskey, Irish porter, wine, cream liqueur, and vodka and blueberry. Those cheeses were labeled as batches 21109 to 21141 and were produced from April 19 to May 21.

Customers who purchased the recalled cheeses from Whole Foods can bring a receipt to the store for a full refund. Those with additional questions can call 844-936-8255 daily, between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight CST.

States Where Recalled Cheeses Were Sold

map showing which states are impacted by the Whole Foods cheese recall


Symptoms of a listeria infection

Infections caused by listeria lead to about 260 deaths and 1,600 infections in the U.S. annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. Americans 65 and older are four times as likely as others to get a listeria infection.

Listeriosis, the infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, most often sickens adults 65 and older, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns. Symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fever, muscle aches and convulsions. A listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage and other complications.

People usually report symptoms one to four weeks after eating food contaminated with listeria. But some have reported symptoms from as early as the day of exposure to as late as 70 days after. Listeriosis is diagnosed with a lab test and treated with antibiotics.

Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agency’s Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.

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