A Cuyahoga County woman was among those who became ill — including one fatally — after eating cheese from a Wisconsin maker that is now the subject of a nationwide recall.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 52-year-old Ohio woman was hospitalized after being infected with a strain of listeriosis linked to cheese from Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Co. of Waterloo, Wis.
As of Wednesday, four other people in three other Midwestern states have been infected and one has died from the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes infection or listeriosis, according to the CDC.
The suspected products are Crave Brothers’ Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles. The company on Wednesday issued a recall of the cheeses, which were distributed nationwide through retail and food-service outlets as well as by mail order.
A listeriosis infection can cause serious illness, particularly in newborns, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems. Listeriosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms, but Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Symptoms often begin three weeks after infection, but can take anywhere from three to 70 days to appear.
The five people who have gotten ill from this outbreak range in age from 31 to 67. Their illnesses occurred between May 20 and June 17. There were two illnesses in Minnesota and one each in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Health.
Approximately 30 cases of listeriosis occur in Ohio each year, according the state health department.
Crave Brothers was informed about the outbreak by the investigating agencies and the company stopped making and distributing the cheeses.
“We are cooperating with the regulatory agencies' ongoing investigation of the cause of the potential health risks,” said company president George Crave in a news release.
Consumers who have purchased the cheese are urged to not eat it, and to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may call the company at 920-478-4887, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The product descriptions are as follows:
Les Frères (LF225 2/2.5#) with a make date of 7-1-13 or prior, packaged in white plastic with a green and gold label.
Petit Frère (PF88 8/8 oz) with a make date of 7-1-13 or prior, packaged in small round wooden boxes.
Petit Frère with Truffles (PF88T 8/8 oz) with a make date of 7-1-13 or prior, packaged in small round wooden boxes.
Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said in a news release that residents should not take chances.
“Consumers should check their homes for these brands of cheeses and should throw them away. If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your health care provider immediately,” he said.