Red Darla Cheese Recalled for Listeria

The Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano, Washington, is recalling its Red Darla cheese because it has the potential to be contaminated with the dangerous, sometimes deadly <"">Listeria monocytogenes pathogens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

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 recalled cheese is a soft cheese in a three-quarter-pound wheel that is made of cow’s milk and washed in red wine while aging. The product does not contain a lot code. To date, no illnesses in connection with this product have been reported.

The recall is the result of a routine sampling program by the state of Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA), which revealed that one wheel of the finished product contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Estrella Family Creamery has ceased production and distribution of the product while the FDA, the WSDA, and the company continue investigating the cause of the problem.

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

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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