America's Listeria-tainted-cheese nightmare continues. First, it was Pecorino sold at Whole Foods. Now, it's blue cheese from Iowa's Maytag Dairy Farms. The company has voluntarily recalled five lots of blue cheese wedges and wheels and 15 batches of crumbles. The expansive recall covers product "distributed through retail stores, restaurants, and direct mail orders nationwide" between December 11, 2015, and February 11, 2016.
The potential for contamination was discovered after testing by the State of Iowa revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in two lots of product. Maytag has suspended production and distribution while the company collaborates with FDA and the State of Iowa to investigate the cause of the problem. So far, no illnesses have been reported.
The FDA notes healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms including high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, but Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Last October, Whole Foods voluntarily recalled a Roquefort cheese after the FDA found listeria in an uncut wheel during a routine sampling. A few months prior to that, California cheesemaker Karoun Dairies recalled its products after its soft cheeses were linked to 24 illnesses and one death.