Make Our Food Safe
07/09/2013

"Listeria Illness, Death Tied to Wisconsin-made Crave Brothers Cheese"

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Rick Barrett

"One person has died, a pregnant woman has miscarried and three others have been hospitalized after eating contaminated soft cheese from an award-winning Wisconsin cheese operation, officials said Monday.

The death was in Minnesota, while the illnesses — from Listeria monocytogenes — were reported in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Three pasteurized soft cheeses are now the subject of a nationwide recall: Les Frères, Petit Frère and Petit Frère with Truffles — cheeses that have captured national and international awards for Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Co., of Waterloo, run by four brothers who use milk from their own herd of 1,500 Holstein cows.

The recalled cheeses were distributed nationwide through dozens of retail and food-service outlets as well as by mail order.

The FDA is conducting an inspection at Crave Brothers' processing facility in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the cause of the contamination.

All of the victims in the outbreak reported consuming a soft cheese. Three said they definitely or probably ate one of the recalled cheeses made by Crave Brothers before getting sick, according to officials.

Laboratory tests conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on samples of the cheeses from two retail stores indicated the presence of the outbreak strain Listeria monocytogenes.

Further testing and confirmation of the results are pending."

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