USA – Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Brie and Camembert Soft Cheese Products (September 2022)

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to Brie and Camembert soft cheese products, including all baked Brie cheeses, manufactured by Old Europe Cheese, Inc. of Benton Harbor, MI, and sold at various retailers under multiple labels and brands.

On September 30, 2022, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. voluntarily recalled multiple brands of Brie and Camembert cheeses produced at their Michigan facility and on October 5, 2022 expanded their recall to include multiple brands of baked Brie products. The firm has also halted production and distribution of their Brie and Camembert products from the Michigan facility and is working with FDA on corrective actions. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled products and should throw them away; this includes Best By Dates ranging from September 28, 2022 to December 14, 2022, and all flavors and quantities.

An expanded list of recalled products and stores that potentially sold these products is available below and on the firm’s recall. Swiss American has also issued a voluntary recall of their St. Louis Brie products sourced from Old Europe Cheese Inc.’s Michigan facility. A full list of their products can be found on the firm’s recall notice.

FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine if additional products are potentially contaminated. Updates to this advisory will be provided as they become available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled products and should throw them away; this includes Best By Dates ranging from September 28, 2022 to December 14, 2022, and all flavors and quantities. An expanded list of recalled products and stores that potentially sold these products is available below and on the firm’s recall.

Retailers may have repackaged bulk Old Europe Cheese items into smaller containers and sold this repackaged product to consumers. This repackaged product may not bear the original labeling and product information. If you are unsure where your Brie or Camembert cheese products are from, ask your retailer or throw them away.

Listeria is most likely to sicken pregnant people and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems. Other people can be infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms after eating Old Europe Cheese Inc. Brie and Camembert products:

  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.

Follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, including retailers who repackaged bulk recalled cheese. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

CDC Case Count for the Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes from Brie and Camembert Soft Cheese Products (as of 10/6/2022)

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 6
Hospitalizations: 5
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: August 5, 2022
States with Cases: CA, GA, MA, MI, NJ, TX
Product Distribution: Nationwide

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