The Portuguese Cheese Co. (Toronto, ON) has recalled a single date code of St. John's Brand Fresh Cheese, that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the following recalled item was distributed only in Ontario.
- St. John's Brand Fresh Cheese (500g package): UPC #0 68168 00071 3; Lot code 147; Best Before 09MR09 (March 9, 2009)
No cases of Listeria monocytogenes illness have been reported to be linked to this product. Nevertheless, the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a ready-to-eat food represents a significant health risk, especially to the elderly, the very young, individuals with weakened immunity and pregnant women. A pregnant woman suffering from listeriosis may pass the infection along to her unborn child, resulting in possible stillbirth, premature labour, or the birth of a seriously ill infant.
Last year, 38 residents of the province of Québec were infected with Listeria monocytogenes – and two died – after eating contaminated cheese. Twenty-six victims were women;half of them were already pregnant when they became ill. Premature labour added three neonatal deaths to the tally.
Consumers who purchased the recalled date code of St. John's Brand Fresh Cheese should return it to the store for a refund.