One death linked to specialty cheese recall

by Keith Nunes
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WATERLOO, WIS. — Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Co. is recalling three varieties of specialty cheese due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The three recalled cheese varieties were distributed to retailers and food service operators, and include: Les Freres, Petit Frere and Petit Frere with truffles.

All three specialty cheese varieties have manufacturing dates of July 1, 2013, or earlier, and the company has halted production of the cheeses in the wake of the recall.

“We are cooperating with the regulatory agencies’ ongoing investigation of the cause of the potential health risks,” said George Crave, president of the company.

Five people from four states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. All five were hospitalized and one death has been reported.

All five of the infected consumers reported eating a soft cheese during the month before becoming ill, and the C.D.C. said information about specific soft cheese products consumed by those infected is available from four of the five. Laboratory tests conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on samples of Les Freres and Petit Frere with Truffles cheeses made by Crave Brothers from two retail stores indicate the presence of the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. Further testing and confirmation of the results are pending.

The Food and Drug Administration is conducting an inspection at the Crave Brothers processing plant.

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