Whole Foods Market in Texas is voluntarily recalling Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of this product, but the illness caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear.
The recalled cheese was sold cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap with scale labels in different weights reading “Maytag Blue Raw Milk,” “Maytag Blue,” or “Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese.” The PLU numbers on the labels begin with 293308 and “sell by” dates are 1/20/2016 and 3/21/16. The product was sold from cheese cases in various Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.
The potential for contamination was discovered after testing by the State of Iowa found the pathogenic bacteria in two lots of the product made by Maytag Dairy Farms. The company has stopped production of the product while the FDA and Iowa health officials investigate the problem.
If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Throw it away in a sealed or double bagged package so other people and animals can’t eat it, and then return the receipt to the store for a full refund. Then clean out your refrigerator with a mild bleach solution of one tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of warm water. This step is necessary because Listeria bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures. Wash your hands after handling the cheese and cleaning the fridge.
If you ate any of this recalled product, monitor yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for the next two months. Those symptoms include headache, fever, neck stiffness, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pregnant women may suffer serious complications from this infection, including stillbirth, miscarriage, premature labor, and infection in the newborn baby, even though they may only be mildly sick. If you do experience these symptoms, see your doctor and tell her you ate this recalled product.