Maytag Dairy Farms of Iowa is recalling 5 lots of “Maytag Blue” blue cheese wedges and wheels and 15 batches of blue cheese crumbles because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported, but the illness caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear.
The recalled products were distributed through retail stores, restaurants, and direct mail nationwide between December 11, 2015 and February 11, 2016. They include 4 ounce wedges, 8 ounce wedges, 2 pound wheels, and 4 pound wheels with lot numbers 150479, 150480, 150481, 150482, and 150483. Also recalled are 5 pound crumbles with batch numbers 950826, 960020, 960037, 960040, 960041, 960049, 960053, 960054, 960067, 960068, 960069, 960070, 960071, 960072, and 960073. The lot number and batch number appears on the side of the bottom of the product.
Testing by the State of Iowa revealed the presence of Listeria bacteria in two batches of the product. Maytag Dairy Farms has voluntarily suspended production and distribution while they determine the cause of the problem.
If you purchased any of the recalled products, do not eat them. Throw them away in a sealed or double bagged container or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Then clean out your refrigerator with a solution of one tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon warm water, because Listeria can grow at refrigerator temperatures. Wash your hands well after handling the cheese.
If you ate any of the recalled cheese, watch yourself for the symptoms of listeriosis for the next 70 days. Those symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Pregnant women may only have mild flu-like symptoms, but this illness can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and infection in the newborn baby.