BC CDC HEALTH ALERT

Certain Moonstruck Tomme d’Or cheeses may contain Listeria
April 3, 2012
VANCOUVER, BC –The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning the public not to consume Tomme d’Or cheese manufactured by Moonstruck Organic Cheese located on Saltspring Island. Other types of cheeses produced by Moonstruck Organic Cheese are not affected by this advisory.

This health alert is the result of a routine sampling program by the BCCDC and further investigation by the manufacturer which revealed that samples of the finished products contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Affected products include all lot numbers of Tomme d’Or cheese. In order to ensure the health and safety of consumers, a photo of the product is provided below so the public can easily identify the product. The manufacturer is fully cooperating and assisting with the investigation.

This product was sold at various retailers throughout British Columbia, and anyone who may have purchased this recalled cheese should not consume it, and discard or return it to their place of purchase. The BCCDC is concerned that this cheese product may still be in the homes of consumers as these cheeses can be stored and consumed well beyond the product’s best before date. Listeria, if present, will grow to high numbers even if the cheese has been stored in the refrigerator. Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled.

The BCCDC is currently working with regional health authorities, the BC Ministry of Health and the manufacturer to ensure this product is removed from distribution and is investigating any possible cases of illness. Currently there are no illnesses linked to this product.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. To date, only one person with listeriosis has been reported in BC this year, though this case was not associated with the consumption of this product.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal blood infections or meningitis in frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and the elderly should avoid higher risk foods such as deli meats, smoked raw fish, unpasteurised milk and cheese and soft pasteurised cheeses.

If you have consumed this recalled product and have symptoms compatible with Listeria infection, please consider one of the following options:

call the 24-hour HealthLink BC Line at
1-866-215-4700
contact your physician
view the BC HealthFiles on Listeria at http://www.bchealthguide.org/healthfiles
Guidance for the testing and treatment of exposed and/or symptomatic pregnant women has been developed by the BC Perinatal Health Program
For more information, please visit the listeria page on bccdc.ca.

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