On January 28, 2018, Panera Bread announced that it was voluntarily recalling its cream cheese products after one of the varieties tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Affected cream cheese has been recalled from Panera locations nationwide. The Panera cream cheese recall also applies to Illinois, where the chain has more than 100 locations, including six in Chicago and dozens in the suburbs.
Dangers of Listeria Monocytogenes
Consumption of Listeria monocytogenes may cause Listeriosis, a condition that largely impacts older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and newborns, though it can also affect people outside these groups.
Common symptoms include high fever, headaches, stiffness, confusion, muscle aches, loss of balance, convulsions, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal distress.
Invasive infections can spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract, often causing miscarriages, stillbirths, and premature delivery in pregnant women. More advanced cases can result in death in the elderly and those with autoimmune deficiencies, with a case-fatality rate of around 20%.
The incubation period for Listeria monocytogenes infections can last from 3 to 70 days. People who experience flu-like symptoms within two months of having ingested contaminated products should seek medical attention and be sure to advise their health care providers accordingly.
Panera Cream Cheese Recall: What Is Affected?
Panera said that it was recalling cream cheese products after samples of one of its varieties from a single day of production had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The chain insists that tests on cream cheese samples produced the day before and the day after did not show signs of contamination.
The recall only affects cream cheese products sold in the United States. Panera also stated that none of its other products have been affected and that the company has ceased all manufacturing in the cream cheese facility associated with the contamination.
The Panera cream cheese recall applies to 2-ounce and 8-ounce varieties with an expiration date before April 2, 2018. The affected varieties including the following:
- Plain Cream Cheese
- Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese
- Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
- Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese
- Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese
Customers who purchased the cream cheese are urged to throw it away and contact the company for information about how to receive a refund.
Food Poisoning in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 48 people become sick in the United States each year from foodborne illnesses, commonly known as “food poisoning.”
Of those people in the country who experience food poisoning, an estimated 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from these foodborne illnesses.<< BACK TO BLOG POSTS