Following the recall of silverside beef, rockmelons and frozen vegetables in recent months, health authorities have now urged shoppers to return potentially contaminated cheese products after signs of the potentially deadly listeria virus were detected.
On Friday afternoon, New South Wales Health issued an urgent recall of Washed Mould Cheeses, manufactured by Washed Rind Pty Ltd, which have been sold at various supermarkets and grocery stores across the country.
The Adelaide-based cheese company recalled four of their popular cheeses, which originated in France; St Simeon (200g), Le Coulommiers (400g), Coulommiers Truffe (750g) and Brie de Nangis (1kg).
Listeria can be life-threatening for certain people, particularly those over the age of 60. Those who are over 70, have diabetes, cancer or even suppressed immune systems are most at risk, while it is also known to cause illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies.
The potentially contaminated products – which cost up to $70 – have been on sale at various stores across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Food Standards Australia & New Zealand also issued a warning, with users questioning whether they should “roll the dice” and consume the cheese if they have the affected products in their fridge.
“Listeria is really dangerous for vulnerable people,” their response read. “In healthy adults and children, listeriosis causes few or no symptoms and may be mistaken for a mild viral infection or flu.
“Symptoms may include headache, fever, tiredness and aches and pains. Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps. Our answer will always be don’t roll that dice.”
Any customers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund, while NSW Health said that anyone who has concerns about their wellbeing should seek medical advice immediately.
In February this year, an elderly woman died from listeria contamination after consuming food from a Melbourne catering facility that supplies Meals on Wheels, private hospitals and aged care facilities around the city.
I Cook Foods was shut down by Victorian health authorities after positive samples of the listeria bacteria were found on multiple food samples following an investigation into the cause of the woman’s death, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to Starts at 60.
The woman, who died in a private hospital on February 4, was diagnosed with listeriosis.