“Listeria is a huge problem in the food industry and for people who get infected,” said Arun Bhunia, a food microbiology professor in the Department of Food Science at Purdue. L. monocytogenes infects an estimated 1,600 each year in the U.S., resulting in about 260 deaths. At highest risk are pregnant women, unborn fetuses, immune-compromised and elderly people.
Bhunia’s previous research has shown that the Listeria adhesion protein (LAP) plays an important role in helping L. monocytogenes to pass through the gut barrier.
But a question lingered about the LAP. After the pathogen secretes LAP, the protein stays on the bacterium’s surface. How it does so remained a mystery. LAP must stay fastened to the bacterial surface for Listeria to cause infection.
Potential Contamination with Listeria monocytogenes
Cricket Creek Farm, LLC
Cricket Creek Farm
Sophelise Cheese and Tobasi Cheese
Cricket Creek Farm of Williamstown, MA is recalling 165 units of Sophelise cheese and 149 pounds of Tobasi cheese because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Sophelise and Tobasi were distributed in Massachusetts and New York through Wild Oats, Williamstown, MA; Provisions Williamstown, Williamstown, MA; McEnroe Organic Farm Market, Millerton, NY; New Lebanon Farmers Market; New Lebanon, NY, at restaurants, and farmers markets.
Sophelise product code: 087055 is a washed, pasteurized milk cheese with a soft rind and pinkish hue; the circular cheese measures 4 inches in diameter and roughly 1 inch tall. It is sold in semi-transparent packaging with a round blue label. Sophelise was distributed between March 29, 2023 and May 26, 2023.
Tobasi with a product label of 315, 341, 048 is a washed raw-milk cheese with an orange rind and creamy interior. When sold retail by Cricket Creek Farm, it is wrapped in clear packaging with a gray and orange label. When sold at retail stores, it is sold in small rectangular cuts. When sold wholesale, the cheese is a square format roughly 8”x8” and 1.25 inches tall. These batches of Tobasi were distributed between March 26, 2023, to May 26, 2023.
One hospitalization due to Listeria monocytogenes has been reported to date. Following this customer notification of illness, products purchased by this individual were tested by Biotrax Testing Laboratory and the current batch of Sophelise was determined to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The three batches of Tobasi are being recalled due to their proximity during storage to the exposed product.
Consumers who have purchased Sophelise, with product code 087055 or Tobasi cheese 315, 341, 048 on or after March 26, should not consume or distribute the product, and they are urged to return any remaining product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company 8:00am – 5:00pm EST Monday – Friday at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-458-5888.