Estrella Family Creamery Recalls Cheese for Listeria

In yet another in a series of recalls of its products, the Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano, Washington, is now recalling a production of <"">Old Apple Tree Tomme cheese because it has the potential to be contaminated with the dangerous, and sometimes deadly, Listeria monocytogenes, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Old Apple Tree Tomme cheese was sold at the Ballard and Seattle’s U-District farmer’s markets in Seattle, Washington, and the firm’s farm store in Montesano, Washington during the weekend of February 27 and 28, 2010. The recalled cheese was sold by custom order at the markets and the firm’s farm store, with a label bearing its name. The product does not contain a lot code.

To date, no illnesses in connection with this product or any other Estrella cheeses have been reported. The recall is the result of continued sampling by the state of Washington Department of Agriculture, which revealed that one wheel of the finished product contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

The FDA is advising consumers who have any of the recalled products to return the cheese to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-360-249-6541 between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time.

Most recently we wrote that Estrella Family Creamery recalled its Brewleggio, Domino, and Wynoochee River Blue cheeses because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. In that case, the products were sold to restaurants and cheese shops in Washington, Oregon, and New Jersey.

Just prior, we wrote that the Estrella Family Creamery recalled its Red Darla cheese over contamination concerns with the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. The Red Darla cheese was sold from January 2010 through February 11, 2010 at the Ballard and Seattle’s U-District farmers markets; two Seattle restaurants; retail stores in the Seattle-Tacoma area; and the firm’s retail store in Montesano, Washington. The recalled Red Darla cheese was also sold during this time at a retail market in San Francisco, California and a cheese shop in Springfield, New Jersey.

The Red Darla cheese recall was expanded to include Domino Cheese that also tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Brewleggio and Wynoochee River Blue cheeses are also being included in the expanded recall because they were aged in the same room as the Domino cheese.

Listeriosis, the food borne disease caused by the Listeria pathogen, is dangerous and can often be deadly, causing serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth of a baby suffering from the infection.

Pregnant women are about 20 times likelier than others to be infected, with about one-third of all Listeriosis cases occurring during pregnancy. Listeriosis can kill fetuses, prompt premature births, and can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns and neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

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