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Listeria Contamination Prompts Cheese Recall

Thursday, February 09, 2017 | 4:44pm

NASHVILLE — Routine testing by the Consumer and Industry Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has discovered Listeria monocytogenes in a sample of Amish Classic Colby deli horn cheese.

The manufacturer, Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC, is instructing all wholesalers and retailers to discontinue selling their existing stock of Amish Classic Colby deli horns distributed by MDS Foods under the Amish Classic label with item number 55209 and sold as sliced deli cheese. They are also recalling lot numbers 110316V02, 110316V03 and 110316V04.

The company is also removing packaged Amish Classic Colby Cheese with item numbers 55241 and 55245 which were cut from the suspect 55209 product and wrapped at the MDS Foods manufacturing facility located in Tullahoma, Tenn. 

Meijer’s Colby-jack deli horn lot number 110316V08 and Meijer’s Colby deli horn lot numbers 110316V08 are also part of the recall.

On January 30, TDA took a sample of the Amish Classic Colby from a store in Trenton, Tenn. Tests conducted in the state lab confirmed the food was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.  

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the source and extent of the contamination and determining how many retailers received these batches of cheese. TDA is urging anyone who purchased any of the aforementioned items not to consume them.

No illnesses have been reported in Tennessee. The investigation is ongoing.

Listeria monocytogenes is unlike many other germs because it can grow in a cold environment. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and may be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems. Cooking and pasteurization are two methods to eliminate the bacteria from food.

The Consumer and Industry Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture sets high standards for food safety. Those standards are enforced through regular and thorough inspections and product testing.