Last Oct. 7, Whole Foods Market voluntarily recalled all its Papillon Organic Roquefort Cheese which could make consumers susceptible to listeriosis.

In its official press release, the supermarket chain has announced that it is recalling Papillon Organic Roquefort Cheese when it was suspected that the food products are contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes).

"Whole Foods Market is recalling cheese sold in all stores nationwide that came from its supplier because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes," said Whole Foods Market in the press release.

The company initiated the voluntary recall when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found presence of L. monocytogenes during a routine sampling of an uncut wheel of Roquefort cheese.  Since then, all stores were required to remove the product from their shelves. 

The Papillon cheese is packaged in a plastic wrap and can be identified by its label beginning with PLU 029536. Consumers who already bought the product can return it and the receipt to the store and receive a full refund.

So far, Whole Foods said that no incidents of illness have been reported, though they caution the public on the potential problems that could be caused by the bacteria. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that an estimated one out of six Americans get food poisoning. Common sources of food poisoning include eating raw or undercooked meat, improperly canned or preserved foods like home-canned produce, unpasteurized milk or contaminated food and water.

Listeriosis has been listed by the FDA as one of the most common foodborne diseases in the United States. Signs and symptoms of Listeriosis include fever, nausea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms. But while a healthy immune system may be able to repel the infection from getting worse, immunocompromised patients may become prone to contracting more lethal infections due to the bacteria.

"Clinical syndromes caused by this microorganism include sepsis in the immunocompromised patient, meningoencephalitis in infants and adults, and febrile gastroenteritis," said Dr. Walter Schlech III of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Canada. 

Other common causes for food poisoning in the United States include E. coli, hepatitis A, salmonella and S. aureus. Schlech recommended improved screening of sources of infection, dietary recommendations and even antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent incidence and reduce the severity of the infection. 

Photo: Mil Stan | Flickr

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