Cheese Recalled After Listeria Outbreak Kills 1 & Causes Pregnant Woman to Miscarry

brie cheeseIf you're considering serving or eating cheese as a part of the holiday weekend, my condolences, but this new recall story may make you think twice. Soft, Brie-style cheese manufactured by Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics -- based in Wisconsin -- may have lead to at least one death from Listeriosis so far in Minnesota. The product has also infected four others in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. One of the cases was a pregnant woman who miscarried due to the illness. So horrible.

Minnesota's Heath and Agriculture departments are investigating the incident. So far, they've found early testing results show the presence of Listeria in cheese samples. Ugh. That adds up, given that all the reports of illness indicate the same strain of Listeria as the culprit.

So frightening. From cantaloupe to diced onions in prepared foods and now cheese, it seems like Listeria contamination is becoming much more common. What's the deal? How many more illnesses -- and deaths -- do consumers have to endure before we have more preventative food safety measures, as opposed to this reactive system we currently seem to have to rely on?

In the meantime, Crave Brothers is being investigated by Wisconsin state officials and the FDA, and the following cheeses have been recalled:

  • Les Freres (LF225 2/2.5#) with a make date of 7-1-13 or prior, packaged in white plastic with a green and gold label.
  • Petit Frere (PF88 8/8 oz.) with a make date of 7-1-13 or prior, packaged in small round wooden boxes.
  • Petit Frere with Truffles (PF88T 8/8 oz.) with a make date of 7-1-13 or prior, packaged in small round wooden boxes.


Minnesota health officials have warned consumers not to eat the products, and the Agriculture Department has asked grocery stores and distributors to remove them shelves and cease deliveries. That of course doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't some floating around. And even if you don't eat or buy this particular cheese, it's still all sorts of disconcerting.

Does this recall concern you?


food safety, recall


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Laura Palmer

While it's very tragic, pregnant women are not supposed to be eating "soft" cheese for that very reason.

abra819 abra819

oh laura...

Laura Palmer

Sorry wasn't trying to be a dick, it is very sad and trust me I did my fair share for eating things you shouldn't while pregnant, but there are warnings against it. I am so sorry that woman had to endure a miscarriage it's very sad. I was just saying.

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

I'm with Laura on this one.

nonmember avatar Alissa

I am with Laura on this one too... Pregnant women are NOT supposed to eat any soft cheeses for this very reason. This is not a secret.

schlis schlis

Only five people are sick, in four DIFFERENT states? This sounds fishy.

youth... youthfulsoul

I felt so deprived of all the foods I wasn't allowed to eat while pregnant, but this is exactly why you're told not to.

Craft... CraftyJenna

wow whole lot of victim blaming going on. 

IHear... IHeartCake

Yes, it's very concerning and tragic for the victims.  However, I don't think cases of listeria are on the rise. 

Andrea Byrd Plate

Ok, in the victim's defense (particularly the pregnant woman), I went to the Crave Brothers website just now.  The first ingredient on all the recalled cheese is pasteurized whole milk.  According to my doctor and pretty much every pregnancy book out there, eating soft cheese is Ok IF the cheese is made from pasteurized milk (which the bulk of cheese sold in the United States is-you really have to seek out raw milk cheese, and even at that you won't find it at most grocery stores-only specialty stores carry it).  With my doctor's Ok I've eaten feta, chevre and fresh mozzerella throughout this pregnancy without worry.  Currently six months in and haven't had any problems.  I'm not saying I gorge on it daily, but I do use good judgement and my doctor's guidelines when making choices about what to eat and not to eat (for example, I won't eat soft cheese at a restaurant unless it's a big chain and they can show me they only use pasteurized products-the bulk of soft cheese I've eaten has been cheese I've bought myself with 'pasteurized' clearly on the label).  Besides, let's face it ladies-if pregnant women followed every single piece of advice about what to eat and what not to eat, we'd be living off of boiled chicken and water for nine months.

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