Listeria and Salmonella Threats Prompt Recall of Morningland Dairy, Ozark Hills Farm Cheeses Recalled

Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, is recalling 68,957 pounds of cheese because it may be contaminated with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Listeria monocytogenes and also has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.

Morningland Dairy’s raw milk cheese is sold in the lower 48 states via mail order, retail stores, crop sharing associations, and direct delivery. The cheese is packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic packages that are sold as random weight size retail packages. The specific varieties of cheese are sold under the following brand names and flavors:

• Morningland Dairy Raw Milk Cheese (from cow milk): Colby, Hot Pepper Colby, Garlic Colby, Italian Colby, Dill Colby, No-Salt Added Mild Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, Medium Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar.

• Ozark Hill Farms Raw Goat Milk Cheese: Colby, Hot Pepper Colby, Italian Colby, Garlic ‘N’ Chive Colby, Mild Cheddar, Medium Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar.

The codes affected by the recall are handwritten on the front of the label, and range from A10 (representing January 1, 2010) through F250 (representing June 25, 2010).

No illnesses have been reported, to date, in connection with this recall; however, foodborne illnesses can take anywhere from several days to several weeks to become apparent.

The recall is a result of regulatory sampling in the State of California of Morningland Dairy cheese, which was taken from the Rawesome store in Venice, California. The regulatory sampling revealed the Morningland Dairy Hot Pepper Colby and Garlic Colby Cheeses contained the bacteria. Morningland Dairy has suspended the production and distribution of all cheese, as FDA, the Missouri Milk Board, and Morningland Dairy continue their investigation as to the root cause of the problem.

Customers who have purchased the cheese should not eat it, and customers are asked to contact the firm for instructions by telephone at (417) 469-3817, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; by FAX at (417) 469-5086; or by email at morningland@centurytel.net. Customers can also check the firm’s website for updates over the next several days at www.morninglanddairy.com.

Salmonella poisoning—Salmonellosis—can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonellosis often experience fever, diarrhea that may be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis.

Listeriosis—Listeria poisoning—can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea; can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women; and can result in serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems. In pregnant women, Listeriosis can also result in birth of a baby suffering from the infection. Pregnant women are about 20 times likelier than others to be infected and 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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