Reports of Illness and Death Prompt Soft Cheese Recall

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Washington, DC: Further to reports of illness and death, on September 16, 2015, Karoun Dairies, Inc. recalled and ceased production of certain cheeses that the company distributes due to possible contamination with Listeria.

The recall includes several brands and types of cheeses that were distributed to retail outlets in the United States. Products were sold under the following brands: Karoun, Arz, Gopi, Queso Del Valle, Central Valley Creamery, and Yanni. Products are vacuum packed, in jars or in pails. Weights vary from 5 ounces to 30 pounds.

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate this multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis). Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.

So far, 24 people have been infected in nine states since August 8, 2010. Of those, 21 people were hospitalized, 5 illnesses were pregnancy-related; and 1 resulted in a fetal loss. One death was reported from Ohio. Additional illnesses are under investigation.

The investigation has not conclusively identified the source of this outbreak, but most ill people interviewed reported eating soft cheese before becoming ill. This investigation is ongoing.

Eighteen (82%) of the 22 ill people with available information reported eating soft cheeses in the month before becoming ill.

Four (57%) of 7 ill people who specified a brand of cheese reported brands distributed by Karoun Dairies. No other brand of cheese was reported more than once.

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