Consumers Warned Off Estrella Family Creamery Cheeses

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just issued a warning to consumers about Estrella Family Creamery cheeses, saying that all lots of Estrella cheeses put consumers at risk for <"">Listeria monocytogenes. This includes soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, and hard.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infections can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

FDA is advising consumers in possession of the recalled Estrella Family cheeses to discard the product and that consumers with symptoms of Listeria should consult their health care professionals. Consumers should discard the cheeses in the trash in a sealed container so that children and animals, such as wildlife, cannot access them.

Environmental samples and one product sample collected by the FDA during an August 2010 inspection at the Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano, Washington, facility tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

This is not the first recall by the Estrella Family Creamery and not the first time we’ve written about contaminated cheese products produced by this firm. The company previously recalled cheeses due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination, but resumed marketing in May 2010. In February, Estrella Family Creamery recalled Red Darla Cheese, following that recall the next week with an expanded recall of various cheeses, both due to health risks. In March, Estrella Family Creamery recalled its Old Apple Tree Tomme Cheese, also over possible health risks.

Estrella manufactures about 18 varieties of soft ripened, semi-soft, semi-hard, and hard cheeses made from raw cow or goat milk and aged 60 days or longer. The cheeses are sold in wheels or cut to order for retail markets, and do not contain lot codes. Estrella cheeses are sold at specialty cheese shops, farmers markets, the company’s farm store in Montesano, Washington, and through the Internet. The company also sells to restaurants and takes part in cheese contests where its products are sold.

While a complete product list is not available, some of the varieties that have been produced by Estrella include:

• Black Creek Buttery
• Dominoes
• Guapier
• Grisdale Goat
• Subblime
• Partly Sunny
• Wynoochee River Blue
• Caldwell Crik Chevrette
• Old Apple Tree Tomme
• Valentina
• Vineyard Tomme
• Brewleggio
• Red Darla
• Reposée
• Bea Truffled
• Jalapeño Buttery
• Weebles

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