Some 68,957 pounds of cheese that may be contaminated with bacteria have been recalled, the FDA announced yesterday.
No illnesses have been reported yet, however.
Morningland Dairy's raw milk cheese may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which causes about 2,500 illnesses and 500 deaths per year in the United States, and also has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of staph infections.
The cheese is sold in the lower 48 states via mail order, retail stores, crop sharing associations, and direct delivery. It is packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic packages that are sold as random weight size retail packages.
The specific varieties of cheese are sold under the following brand names and flavors:
Morningland Dairy Raw Milk Cheese (from cow milk): Colby, Hot Pepper Colby, Garlic Colby, Italian Colby, Dill Colby, No-Salt Added Mild Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, Medium Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar.
Ozark Hill Farms Raw Goat Milk Cheese: Colby, Hot Pepper Colby, Italian Colby, Garlic 'N' Chive Colby, Mild Cheddar, Medium Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar.
The codes affected by the recall are handwritten on the front of the label, and range from A10 (representing January 1, 2010) through F250 (representing June 25, 2010).
The recall is a result of regulatory sampling in the State of California of Morningland Dairy cheese, which was taken from the Rawesome store in Venice, California. It revealed the Morningland Dairy Hot Pepper Colby and Garlic Colby Cheeses contained the bacteria.
Morningland Dairy has suspended the production and distribution of all cheese, as FDA, the Missouri Milk Board, and Morningland Dairy continue their investigation as to the root cause of the problem.
Customers who have purchased the cheese should not eat it, the FDA said in a statement. Concerned customers are asked to contact the company for instructions at (417) 469-3817 Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m., FAX (417) 469-5086, or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web at www.morninglanddairy.com.