Whole Foods is recalling Crave Brothers Les Freres cheese after a bacterial infection linked to the product killed at least one person and sickened several others.
The grocery chain explained that the cheese could be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes. It was sold in 30 states and in Washington, D.C., under names like Les Freres and Crave Brothers Les Freres.
The cheese is pre-cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap with the grocery chain’s scale labels on it. Whole Foods has posted signs in all of its stores to inform customers about the cheese recall.
Cases of illness linked to the recalled cheese have been identified in at least three states, including Illinois and Minnesota. In Illinois, one resident became sick in May after eating the Les Freres cheese.
Two elderly Minnesotans became sick after ingesting the cheese. One of them passed away. Both of the Minnesota cases happened in June.
Listeria is known to cause severe illness for pregnant women and people who have weakened immune systems. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Healthy people can typically recover from the illness.
Along with Whole Foods, Crave Brothers, based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, announced a voluntary recall of the Les Freres, Petit Frere, and Petit Frere with Truffles cheese. All of the products recalled were made on July 1 or earlier. They were distributed around the country with the help of retail and food service outlets, as well as by mail order.
The cheese recall is the second involving food in the past month. Last month, Costco issued a recall for an organic frozen berry mix that used pomegranate seeds. The seeds, imported from Turkey, were linked to an outbreak of Hepatitis A. At least 118 people in eight states were affected by the seeds.
Whole Foods announced that customers need to throw the recalled cheese away and bring their receipts in. They will get a full refund for the tainted product.
[Image via Dwight Burdette]