Fair Oaks Fine Cheese Recall Issued For Listeria

Fair Oaks Dairy Products, LLC, of Fair Oaks, Indiana just issued a recall of specific one-half-pound retail packaged cheeses and cheese gift boxes over concerns of contamination with the Listeria pathogen.

The recalled Fair Oaks Cheese was produced under the Fair Oaks Farms Fine Cheese label and sold between September 30, 2011 and December 3, 2011 at the Fair Oaks Dairy store in Northwest Indiana, to other stores directly, and through distributors primarily in Northern and Central Indiana and Northeast Illinois. One store in the Sulphur Springs, Texas area also has received the product.

The ½-pound packages of recalled Fair Oaks cheese are wrapped in clear plastic with the label “Fair Oaks Farms Fine Cheese” and the name of the variety on the package’s front panel. Varieties include: Asiago, Butterkase, Gouda, Aged Gouda, Smoked Gouda, Havarti, Pepper Havarti, Habanero Havarti, Onion Havarti, Veggie Havarti, Havarti Dill, Sweet Swiss, Smoked Sweet Swiss, Emmentaler, Calico, Mozzarella, Farmers, Cheese Curds, Muenster, Provolone, Lacy Swiss, Cheddar, Cheddar Mild, 1-Year Cheddar, 2-Year Cheddar, 3-Year Cheddar, 4-Year Cheddar, and 5-Year Cheddar. Each variety is identified on the label. There are no identifying dates or UPCs and the recall also includes gift boxes that contain any of these cheeses.

Laboratory analysis confirmed that a four-year aged cheddar cheese marketed in one-half-pound packages contained Listeria monocytogenes.

Fair Oaks has voluntarily recalled its one-half-pound retail packaged cheeses and cheese gift boxes produced in its plant during the period of September 30 through November 17, 2011. Fair Oaks has also contacted the FDA and issued the recall to consumers in Illinois and Indiana. All remaining inventory has been quarantined and will be destroyed under FDA supervision.

Although no illnesses have been reported, to date, it is important to bear in mind that the Listeria pathogen can take up to two months to manifest with symptoms after consumption of tainted produce. The Indiana Department of health lists the Listeria incubation period as being up to 70 days.

The firms is advising consumers who have purchased any of these recalled cheese products on the dates in question to return the product to the stores where purchased to receive a refund. Recall notices have already been sent to retail outlets that received this product. Fair Oaks Customer Service can be reached at 1.847.884.000 or 1.630.673.5200, if calling after 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The lines will be answered twenty four hours per day, seven days a week.

The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is potentially fatal and can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

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