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Velveeta recalls cheese shipped to Midwest states

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Kraft is voluntarily recalling some Velveeta original pasteurized cheese product packages after a batch was found to have low levels of a preservative, risking a premature spoil and possible illness.

The recall affects Walmart stores in up to 12 Midwest states – including Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota – and totals 260 cases that Kraft says were made on one manufacturing line during a few hours of production. It was shipped to three Walmart distribution centers, which send products to a dozen states in the region.

In addition to Minnesota, the other states possibly affected are: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio.

The cheese in the 32-ounce packages lacks the proper amount of the preservative sorbic acid, Kraft says. That could lead the cheese to expire more quickly, and possibly lead to food-borne illness, the company says.

The affected product can be identified with a specific "Best when used by" date and time. It will be marked as "17 DEC 2014," and have a time range between 09:34 and 13:15. An example provided by Kraft can be seen at right.

Only original cheese recipe packages marked with that date and time range are affected, Kraft says. The company says the cheese should not be eaten, and instead should be returned to the store where it was purchased for an exchange or full refund.

You can also call Kraft customer relations at 1-800-310-3704.

Sorbic acid, according to Healthline, is a "natural, organic" preservative that is used to keep a variety of human foods, drugs and cosmetics fresh – essentially, to prevent mold from growing.

The FDA categorizes sorbic acid as "generally recognized as safe" when used properly in manufacturing.

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