Photo courtesy of Sargento.
Bad news is here for Sargento cheese lovers.
The cheese-making giants are just one of several companies involved in a massive recall due to Listeria monocytogenes, according to Food Safety News.
The recall began after Amish Classic’s Colby Jack cheese tested positive for Listeria in a Tennessee lab that traced back to a general cheese producer. The producer, Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC, then instructed anyone who carries cheese made in that facility to recall it immediately. Companies like Taylor Farms, who uses the cheese in Signature Select Salads made for retailers like Safeway and Albertson’s, and cheesemakers like Amish Classics and Meijer have issued recalls already regarding their products using cheese made by Deutsch Kase Haus.
Unfortunately, Sargento had two products — Longhorn Colby and Nacho & Taco Cheese — that were produced by Deutsch Kase Haus, and issued a recall on those items. To ensure safety, cheeses that Sargento packaged on the same line as those cheeses were also recalled. Those cheeses include Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar Jack, and Taco Cheese.
This was a smart play by Sargento, as Listeria monocytogenes is known for being incredibly hard to get off of food contact surfaces. It grows best in refrigerated environments, and can be responsible for everything from fevers and joint stiffness to nausea, miscarriages in pregnant women, and even death for those with weakened immune systems due to meningitis. If found on processing equipment, it can cause massive recalls and lead to temporary halts in production — similar to what happened with Sabra Hummus toward the end of last year.
Fortunately, nobody has reported illness due to the cheese contaminations thus far, and we hope that this continues as the recalls finalize and cheese potentially tainted with Listeria is removed from the store shelves.