A listeria outbreak linked to tainted cheese has prompted supermarket chain Hy-Vee to recall products in eight states.
Eight products, including cheese boards and gift baskets, have been pulled from shelves as officials try to stop the spread.
Listeria is a serious infection normally caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, which causes intestinal disease.
It can become more serious and cause confusion and seizures and miscarriages and stillbirth in pregnant women.
So far, there have been six cases, four of whom have been hospitalized, in six different states.
The recalled products have an expiration date of September 28 through December 14 and were sold at Hy-Vee supermarkets in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Customers who purchased any of the products must discard or return them to a Hy-Vee store for a full refund.
Hy-Vee said in a statement that no illnesses have been reported to the company and that the recall is “voluntary” and “precautionary.”
Hy-Vee has pulled brie and camembert products, including gift baskets and cheese boards after bacteria that caused listeria were found at the cheese manufacturer’s Michigan plant
Which Hy-Vee products are affected?
Cranberry Brie Torte (Brie Hostess)
Apricot Brie Torte (Brie Hostess)
Triple Cream Brie, Montamore Cheddar and Old Gouda Cheese Board
Sparkling fruit and cheese board
La Bonne Vie Domestic Double Crème Brie (cut & wrapped)
La Bonne Vie French Double Cream Brie (cut & wrapped)
Bon Appetite Gift Basket
Luxury Delights Gift Basket
Hy-Vee has more than 280 locations in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
On Friday, Old Europe Cheese voluntarily recalled all of its brie and camembert cheeses, including more than 20 brands, due to dangerous bacteria.
The products were distributed from Aug. 1 through Sept. 28, the company said in a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
They were stocked at retailers such as Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer, Harding’s, Shaw’s, Price Chopper, Market Basket, Raley’s, Save Mart, Giant Foods, Stop & Shop, Fresh Thyme, Lidl, Sprouts, Athenian Foods and Whole Foods.
The FDA has warned people not to eat any of the recalled products.
Those who aren’t sure what brand their brie or camembert is should ask their retailer or throw it away.
So far, cases have been found in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas, with the last illness recorded on August 6.
With support from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the FDA inspected the Old Europe Cheese Michigan facility and found the bacteria responsible for listeria.
Analysis showed that the strain of listeria at the facility is the same as the strain causing disease in this outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) said researchers are working to see if other products are contaminated.
They recommend cleaning your refrigerator, as listeria can survive there, and other surfaces that the recalled cheese may have touched.
Hy-Vee’s Brie Hostess Cranberry Brie Torte is one of eight products being recalled. Customers who purchased any of the products are advised to discard or return it to their local retailer for a full refund
People with symptoms of listeria after eating the recalled products should call their health care provider immediately, the CDC said.
Many foods may contain listeria, but it is most commonly found in unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, and ready-to-eat foods, such as prepackaged sandwiches.
Listeria is widespread in the environment and can be found in raw food and soil, and in the feces of many mammals, birds and fish.
Pregnant women and their newborns, adults over the age of 65, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
Mild symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting usually begin within 24 hours of eating contaminated food and generally last one to three days.
However, if the infection spreads beyond the gut, it becomes an invasive disease, with symptoms appearing within two weeks of eating listeria-contaminated food.
This can cause fever, flu-like symptoms, confusion and even seizures.
Invasive disease during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or life-threatening infection of the newborn, and nearly 1 in 20 non-pregnant people with invasive listeria will die.
The infection is treated with antibiotics.
According to the CDC, about 1,600 Americans get listeria every year and about 260 die.
You can avoid listeria by: wash your hands regularly with soap and water, wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, scutting ready-to-eat foods as recommended by the manufacturer, and making Make sure all warm food is hot all the time.