Minnesota health officials are warning consumers that the multi-state outbreak of listeriosis has been linked to Les Frères cheese, made by a Wisconsin producer. Early testing results conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture indicate Listeria, but confirmation is pending.
So far, two Minnesotans have fallen ill in the outbreak. Both were older adults who became sick early in June. Both required hospitalization, and one died.
The cheese products were made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese, and there are at least three other cases confirmed in other states.
Consumers who purchased any of the following products are advised not to eat it until investigators can confirm they are safe:
- Les Frères
- Petit Frère
- Petit Frère with Truffles
Health officials say pregnant women, newborns and adults with weak immune systems are most at risk.
Minnesota agriculture officials have advised grocery stores and distributors to pull the products from shelves until more information is available.
The Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the ongoing investigation.
WHAT IS LISTERIOSIS?
Listeriosis is a potentially dangerous infection that can be acquired by eating food contaminated with Listeria bacterium. Typically, between four to 10 cases are reported in Minnesota annually.
Symptoms of listeriosis include:
- Muscle aches
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance
Symptoms tend to emerge three weeks after infection, but they can appear in as few as three days or as long as 70 days after infection.
Pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, but the infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or infection in the child.
Anyone who suspects they may have listeriosis is urged to contact a health care provider.
- MDH: Listeriosis: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/listeriosis/
- Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics: http://www.cravecheese.com/