Listeria fears prompt Sargento cheese recall

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PLYMOUTH — One of the largest cheesemakers in the US is recalling several of its products over fears of a listeria contamination.

Sargento Foods, Inc., announced over the weekend that certain packages of its Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby and Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese must be recalled “due to a potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.”

untitled-1The recalled retail products are:

  • Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby, 6.84 oz., UPC 4610000228, with “Sell By” dates of “12APR17B” and “10MAY17B”
  • Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040041, with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17” and “H12JUL17”

Out of an abundance of caution, Sargento also recalled the following products because they were packaged on the same line as the affected cheese:

  • Sargento Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese, 12 oz., UPC 4610000109 with “Sell By” date of “11JUN17B”
  • Sargento Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese, 12 oz., UPC 4610000108 with “Sell By” dates of  “12JUN17B”, “09JUL17B” and “10JUL17B”
  • Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040002 with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17” and “F28JUN17”
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040014 with “Sell By” date of “F05JUL17”
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040076 with “Sell By” date of “F05JUL17”

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Listeriosis is a serious infection that’s usually caused by eating contaminated food and can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and older people. Symptoms include fever and muscle aches and sometimes diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Approximately 1,600 cases are reported in the United States every year, with 260 resulting in death, according to the CDC.

On its website, Sargento said there have been no confirmed reports of illnesses. The company urges anyone who may have the cheese in their refrigerator to go online and check the package’s UPC code to see if it is affected by the recall.

“The safety of our consumers and our employees is our top priority at Sargento and at the very heart of all we do,” read a statement on the website. The site also reads:

Please call 1-800-CHEESES (1-800-243-3737) or email us via the Contact Us” page on Sargento.com.  Phone calls will be answered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Central Time); emails should get a response within 24 hours.