Dozens of Brie and Camembert Cheese Brands Recalled Due to Listeria

The affected products include cheeses sold by Whole Foods, Lidl, Sprouts, and other grocery stores.

A camembert cheese wheel
Photo: Getty Images

Michigan-based cheesemaker Old Europe Cheese has issued a voluntary recall of its brie and camembert cheeses as they could potentially be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have launched an investigation into an outbreak of Listeria that, as of this writing, has sickened six people — with five requiring hospitalization — in six states.

According to a report on the FDA's website, four of those affected said they had eaten either brie or camembert cheese before the onset of symptoms. As as result, the FDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development inspected Old Europe Cheese's manufacturing facilities in Michigan; samples taken from the site detected the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, and the FDA's analysis found that the strain of Listeria collected on-site matched the strain that was connected to the illnesses reported during this outbreak.

The Old Europe cheeses that are included in the voluntary recall include all brie and camembert products that have "best by" dates through 12/14/2022. The potentially affected cheeses were sold between August 1 and September 28 at retailers and supermarkets including, Albertsons, Athenian Foods, Fresh Thyme, Giant Foods, Harding's, Lidl, Market Basket, Meijer, Price Chopper, Raley's, Safeway, Save Mart, Shaw's, Sprouts, Stop & Shop, and Whole Foods. The FDA adds that this list may not include all retailers who received the potentially affected products.

The Brie and Camembert cheeses were sold under a wide range of brand names, including: Black Bear, Block & Barrel, Charmant, Cobblestone, Culinary Tour, Fredericks, Fresh Thyme, Glenview Farms, Good & Gather, Heinen's, Joan of Arc, La Bonne Vie, Lidl Preferred Selection, Life in Provence, Matrie'd, Market 32, Metropolitan, Prestige, Primo Taglio, Red Apple Cheese, Reny Picot, St. Randeaux, Taste of Inspiration, St. Rocco, and Trader Joe.

The potentially affected cheeses were sold in wheels, wedges, and rounds. A full list of all of the recalled products and their UPC codes is available on the FDA website.

All consumers who have any of the recalled products are strongly encouraged to discard the product immediately, and not to consume it. The FDA also recommends using "extra vigilance" in cleaning and sanitizing any refrigerator shelves, kitchen countertops, or other surfaces that may have come in contact with the cheese. "Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces," the agency wrote.

In addition, the agency notes that some retailers may have repackaged bulk brie and camembert into smaller containers, and sold those to consumers. If you have brie or camembert cheese in your refrigerator and do not know its original brand name or origin, the FDA recommends discarding it and sanitizing any surfaces it may have touched.

According to the CDC, symptoms of Listeria can start the same day as eating contaminated food, while more severe cases may not present themselves until several weeks later. The symptoms can include "mild food poisoning symptoms" including diarrhea or fever, while more severe illnesses can include fever and muscle aches, headaches, stiff necks, loss of balance, or convulsions. In those who are pregnant, Listeria can also cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. Anyone who develops symptoms after eating any of the recalled cheeses is encouraged to call their healthcare provider right away.

Anyone with questions concerning the recall or the potentially affected products can call Old Europe Cheese directly at 269-925-5003 ext 335. The telephone line is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am-12:30pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm ET.

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