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Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheeses (Final Update)

This outbreak appears to be over. Listeria monocytogenes infection (listeriosis) is an important cause of illness in the United States. More information about listeriosis, and steps people can take to reduce their risk of infection, can be found on the CDC Listeria Web Page.

Recall

On July 3, 2013, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company of Waterloo, Wisconsin voluntarily recalled its Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles cheeses with make dates of July 1, 2013 or earlier due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled cheeses were distributed nationwide through retail and foodservice outlets as well as by mail orders.

Advice to Consumers

This outbreak appears to be over. However, it is possible that consumers might still have recalled cheese in their homes.

Les Frères cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company

Les Frères cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company

Consumers should not eat recalled Les Frères, Petit Frère, or Petit Frère with Truffles cheeses made by Crave Brothers. Throw it away.

  • This is especially important for pregnant women, older adults, and people with immune systems weakened by cancer, cancer treatments, or other serious conditions (like diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, and HIV/AIDS).
  • Consumers should check their home for any of the recalled cheeses and throw them away immediately.
    • Even if some of the cheese has been eaten without anyone becoming ill, the rest of the cheese should be thrown away
    • Crave Brothers is offering consumers a full refund for any recalled cheeses purchased. Consumers with questions may contact the company.
Petit Frère cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company

Petit Frère cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company

How do I recognize the contaminated cheeses?

  • The recalled Crave Brothers cheeses can be identified using this information:
    • Les Frères cheese is packaged in white plastic with a green and gold label.
    • Petit Frère cheese is packaged in small round wooden boxes.
    • Petit Frère with Truffles cheese is packaged in small round wooden boxes
  • These cheeses are produced in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
  • Consumers should consult with their retailer if they have questions about the brand or origin of their cheese.
    • When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Be aware that the recalled cheeses have a shelf life of 90 to 120 days, so contaminated cheese may still be in consumers’ refrigerators and may still be for sale in stores.

Contaminated cheese may still be in consumers' homes.

Listeria can grow in cheese at room and refrigerator temperatures. Listeria can also be spread to other cheeses cut and served on the same cutting board or stored in the same area as contaminated cheese.

Follow these steps if any of the recalled cheeses are or were in your home:

  • Dispose of the cheeses in a closed plastic bag placed in a sealed trash can. This will prevent people and animals from eating it.
  • Wash the cheese drawer and other areas where the cheese was stored in the refrigerator with hot water and soap. Sanitize the area with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water.
  • Wash cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to cut, serve, or store cheese. If possible, use a dishwasher; otherwise, use hot water and soap, followed by sanitizing with a dilute bleach solution described above.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

What should I do if I ate the recalled cheese?

  • Consumers who develop a fever after eating Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles cheeses manufactured by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company should seek medical care immediately and tell the health care provider about eating a cheese that is the likely source of this outbreak. Although people can sometimes develop listeriosis up to 2 months after eating contaminated food, symptoms usually start within several days.
  • If you have eaten one or more of the recalled cheeses contaminated with Listeria and do not have any symptoms, most experts believe that no tests or treatment are needed, even for persons at higher risk for listeriosis.

Who is most at risk?

  • Persons in higher-risk categories: pregnant women and their newborns, older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems.

For more information about listeriosis and CDC’s recommendations to reduce your risk of getting sick, go to CDC's Listeriosis webpage on prevention.

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Advice to Cheese Retailers, Restaurants, and Other Establishments

This outbreak appears to be over. However, it is possible that consumers might still have recalled cheese in stores and restaurants.

Contaminated cheeses may still be in stores and restaurants.

Listeria can grow in cheese at room and refrigerator temperatures. Listeria can also be spread to other cheeses cut and served on the same cutting board or stored in the same area as contaminated cheese.

Do not sell or serve recalled Les Frères, Petit Frère, or Petit Frère with Truffles cheeses made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company.

  • Dispose of the recalled cheeses.
  • Wash and sanitize cheese display cases and refrigerators where contaminated cheeses were stored.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to cut, serve, or store contaminated cheeses.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

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« Read the full Outbreak Investigation

 
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