Listeria Threat Prompts Wisconsin Creamery To Recall Goat Cheese Shreds

Another Listeria threat has prompted a recall; this time, a Wisconsin creamery is involved.

The Bekkum Family Farms LLC of Westby, Wisconsin, just issued a recall of its shredded goat cheese over concerns that the cheese may be contaminated with the dangerous Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

The recalled cheese is labeled “Grumpy Goat Shreds” under the Nordic Creamery brand name. The recalled cheese is packaged in eight-ounce bags that bear a code date of 10-MAR-12.

The recalled Bekkum Family Farms Grumpy Goat Shreds were sold in stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California as far back as November 11.

Anyone in possession of the recalled cheese is urged to discard the Grumpy Goat Shreds or return the cheese to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Bekkum Family Farms was informed by Alpine Slicing & Cheese Conversion, of Monroe, Wisconsin, that its cheese was shredded on the same equipment where other cheese had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Alpine processes and packages cheese for other companies. “Public safety is our main concern in a situation like this,” said Al Bekkum, company spokesman. “Even though our product has not tested positive for the bacteria, we are conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution.”

The Listeria pathogen is unique because it tends to thrive in colder temperatures, such as those found in refrigerated environments and it also has an unusually long incubation period of up to 70 days, according to experts.

Listeriosis, the disease caused by the Listeria pathogen, 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.

Listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems, and 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 with listeriosis than other populations.

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