Whole Foods Market has announced it is recalling Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheese nationwide. According to a CNBC news report, the upscale retailer said the cheese could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. So far, no illnesses have been linked to this recall. The contamination was found in Maytag’s cheese through testing in Iowa. Whole Foods said it recalled the cheese out of “an abundance of caution.”
A company statement said all Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheese products have been removed from store shelves and destroyed. Stores have also posted signs to notify customers about the recall. Maytag Dairy Farms has suspended its operations as it works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the state or Iowa to pin down the source of contamination. Whole Foods is asking customers who bought the cheese to dispose of it or bring it to the store for a full refund.
The Danger of Listeria
Some of the common symptoms of Listeria infections include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The elderly, young children and people with weak immune systems are more susceptible to fatal infections. It could also cause stillbirths or miscarriages in pregnant women. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths due to listeriosis occur each year in the United States.
What to Do if You’ve Been Sickened
If you or a loved one has become ill as a result of consuming food contaminated with listeria bacteria, it is important that you isolate and preserve the food so you can test it independently in a laboratory for the presence of pathogens. If you are ill, get prompt medical attention. Insist on diagnostic tests to determine if you’ve suffered food poisoning. Save all your receipts and bills relating to emergency room care, hospitalization, medication, lab tests, lost wages, etc. Contact your local health care agency and file a report.
Manufacturers of defective products, including food manufacturers and processors, can be held liable for the injuries and damages their products cause. Victims of food poisoning can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced California food poisoning attorney who will remain on their side, fight for their rights and help ensure that they are fairly and fully compensated for their losses.