Listeria Recall: Cropwell Bishop Creamery Cheese Sold in Costco

Cropwell Bishop Creamery Finest Blue Stilton Cheese is being recalled over concerns it may be tainted with the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/listeria">Listeria monocytogenes foodborne bacteria, CBCNews Canada (CBCNews.ca) is reporting.  The recalled Cropwell Bishop Creamery Finest Blue Stilton Cheese was made in England, contains a “Best Before Date” of “Dec. 12,” and was sold across Canada at Costco Wholesale stores.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium found in soil, vegetation, raw milk, meat, poultry, cheeses (particularly soft mold-ripened cheeses), and salad vegetables, as well as in animals and humans.  Listeria monocytogenes can cause illness in humans and, as a matter-of-fact, is responsible for an estimated 2,500 illnesses in the United States annually, with about 200 in every 1,000 cases resulting in death.  The bacteria can grow at low temperatures, including in refrigerator environments, but cooking of food and pasteurization of milk can destroy the listeria bacteria.  Listeria often invades the body through a normal and intact gastrointestinal tract and, once in the body, can travel through the blood stream; the bacteria are often found inside cells where toxins are produced resulting in damaged cells.

Listeriosis, the illness caused by the listeria bacteria, can take days, even weeks, to develop and can present in anything from a mild flu-like illness to meningitis and septicemia.  In pregnant women, spontaneous abortion, miscarriage, or the birth of an infected child can occur.  Pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to be infected with listeriosis; about one-third of listeriosis cases take place during pregnancy.  The incidence of listeriosis in newborns is 8.6 cases per 100,000 live births. The perinatal and neonatal mortality rate (stillbirths and early infant deaths) from listeriosis is an astronomical 80%.  Those whose immune systems are compromised—such as people with HIV/AIDs or patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment—the very young, and the very old are also at particular risk for listeriosis contamination and illness.  All at-risk individuals are advised to avoid certain foods, such as soft mold-ripened cheeses, pates, and raw milk because the risk of infection is very high in these foods

Consumers are advised to thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources; keep uncooked meats separate from vegetables and cooked and ready-to-eat foods; avoid unpasteurized—raw—milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk; wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods; wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating; and consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.

This month, we reported on two other listeria-related recalls.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the International Cheese Company Ltd. issued a warning against consuming Santa Lucia brand Ricotta Cheese because of a possible listeria contamination, according to a press release published on MarketWatch.com this week.  Just prior, the DigitalJournal.com reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s  (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Home Market Foods, Inc. of Massachusetts recalled 5,250 pounds of ready-to-eat frozen “Blimpie Fully Cooked Seasoned Beef Shaved Steaks Thinly Sliced With Onions” sandwiches.

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