Whole Foods is recalling Pecorino Aged Cheese in Walnut Leaves that was sold in two of their stores for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. No illnesses have been reported to date, but the illness caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to manifest.
The cheese was sold in a West Palm Beach, Florida store and in the Bowery, NYC store. The recalled cheese was cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap with scale labels beginning with PLU code 294239 and “sell by” dates of 3/3/16 through 3/8/16 in the NYC store. In the Florida store, the cheese was sold with scale labels beginning with PLU code 290107 and “sell by” dates of 2/29/16 through 3/8/16. The cheese was pulled from store shelves on Monday, February 8, 2016.
If you purchased this cheese, do not eat it. Throw it away in a double bagged or sealed container so other people and animals cannot eat it, or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Then clean out your refrigerator, along with any plates or utensils that may have come into contact with the cheese, with a solution of 1 tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. Listeria bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, so it’s important to make sure there are none in your appliance.
If you ate any of this recalled cheese, watch yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for the next 70 days. It can take that long for symptoms to appear, but most people become ill within a few weeks. The symptoms of listeriosis include headache, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Pregnant women are specially vulnerable to this bacteria. Their illness, even though it may be very mild, can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and infection of the newborn baby. If you do feel sick, see your doctor and tell her you ate this recalled product.