By Daisy Luther
You probably saw the article last week about the massive recall of Sargento products. As it turns out, the Sargento products are only a drop in the bucket – there are 130 more products out there and the FDA is under a gag order not to name them, according to the website Food Safety News.
Sargento added more products to the list on Feb. 17. (You can find them below.) I think that they should be applauded for being the most open about the potential listeria contamination in their products.
Unfortunately, there are many more products out there that have been recalled for potential contamination, but we have no idea what they are. That’s because there is a clause in the federal code that prohibits the FDA from telling us which companies purchased cheese to be branded under their labels from the plant that has been affected with listeria. According to this clause, the names of those companies would be considered “confidential corporate information.”
The plant, Deutsch Kase Haus LLC, is based in Middleburg, Tennessee.
Food Safety News has tracked down some of the products that may be affected. This recall applies only to cheese, so other products from these companies are unlikely to be tainted.
I’ll only list the brands here:
- Sara Lee
- Dutch Valley
- Biery Cheese Co.
- MDS (a distributor of pre-made sandwiches and deli salads)
Some store brands are also affected, and included in the recall could be prepared foods from the deli that contain the tainted cheeses:
Source: Food Safety News
I’m disgusted – but not surprised – by the fact that a federal code protects the corporations instead of the consumers.
My advice? Only buy cheese from local sources until this has all been straightened out. DO NOT purchase the corporate cheese products because, with this gag order, you have no idea if they are safe or not. Consider throwing out products you have on hand or calling the manufacturer to see if the recall applies to them.
Here is the information about the Sargento recall from my previous article:
EDIT: The recall list has been updated to include these additional products:
- Sargento Sliced Colby
- Sargento Sliced Muenster
- Sargento Sliced Tomato & Basil Jack
- Sargento Shredded Reduced Fat Colby-Jack
- Sargento Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese
- Sargento Shredded Chef Blends 4 Cheese Pizzeria
- Artisan Blends Double Cheddar Shredded Cheese
- Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby
- Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco
- Chef Blends Shredded Taco
Sargento has issued a massive recall on cheese due to possible contamination with listeria.
The affected products are:
- Sargento Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese
- Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese
- Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese
- Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese
Listeria is a potentially deadly form of food poisoning that has become all-too-common in processed foods lately.
The Food Poison Journal says:
Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) is a foodborne disease-causing bacteria; the disease is called listeriosis. Listeria can invade the body through a normal and intact gastrointestinal tract. Once in the body, Listeria can travel through the blood stream but the bacteria are often found inside cells. Listeria also produces toxins that damage cells. Listeria invades and grows best in the central nervous system among immune compromised persons, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection). In pregnant women, the fetus can become infected, leading to spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, or sepsis (blood infection) in infancy.
Here’s the press release issued by the FDA:
Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC of Middlebury, Ind. has notified Sargento Foods Inc. that a specialty Longhorn Colby cheese they supplied to Sargento must be recalled due to a potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported.
The affected retail products are Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby, 6.84 oz., UPC 4610000228, with “Sell By” dates of “12APR17B” and “10MAY17B” and Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040041, with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17” and “H12JUL17.” These products were packaged at the Sargento Plymouth, Wis. facility.
Out of an abundance of caution, Sargento is also recalling 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”, “F28JUN17” and “D28JUN17”
- 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”
No other Sargento branded products are affected by this recall.
Consumers can check if their product is affected by the recall by visiting info.sargento.com and using the “Product Check” tool. This webpage will be updated with the latest information about the recall. Consumers can also call Sargento Consumer Affairs at 1-800-243-3737 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Central Time), or submit questions to the “Contact Us” page at sargento.com.
Our unwavering commitment to safety is at the core of everything we do at Sargento. We are vigilantly monitoring this issue to ensure the situation is resolved in a timely manner, and are working in full cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration to rigorously investigate this issue.