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Whole Foods, HyVee recall cheese due to listeria risk

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Two grocery store chains are recalling cheese due to a possible listeria contamination.

Whole Foods Market and HyVee stores are voluntarily recalling Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheese out of an abundance of caution, the companies said in the respective news releases.

Liz Burkhart, a spokesperson for Whole Foods, told CNBC the contamination was found in the cheese through testing in Iowa, and the chain issued the recall "out of an abundance of caution."

Maytag Dairy Farms has voluntarily suspended production and distribution while the company works with the FDA and the State of Iowa to determine the cause, the FDA says.

The cheese – labeled "Maytag Blue Raw Milk," "Maytag Blue" or "Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese" – was sold in whole wheels or cuts, and re-packaged in foil or clear plastic wrap with scale labels of various weights, and were sold at Whole Foods and HyVee stores nationwide.

The affected products sold at Whole Foods have sell-by dates between Jan. 20, 2016, and March 21, 2016, with PLU numbers starting with 293308. While the HyVee recalled cheese, which also includes cheese crumbles sold in plastic containers, have use-by dates between Jan. 20, 2016, and May 3, 2016.

Anyone who purchased the cheese should throw it away. Customers can bring their receipt into Whole Foods or Hyvee for a full refund, the FDA notes.

Other Maytag cheeses recalled

This is the latest recall of Maytag's cheese in recent weeks. The company announced an initial recall of its "Maytag Blue" blue cheese wedges, wheels and crumbles due to a risk of listeria on Feb. 19, and expanded that recall on Feb. 26.

This expanded recall includes 1-, 4- and 8-ounce wedges and 2- and 4-pound wheels, as well as 8-ounce crumbles and 5-pound crumbles.

The affected products in this recall were sold through distributors, retail stores and restaurants, as well as direct mail orders nationwide between Nov. 24, 2015, and Feb. 11, 2016, the release says. (Check affected product numbers here.)

No illnesses have been reported in connection with this issue either.

What is listeria?

Listeria is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young kids, the elderly or people with weakened immune systems, and it can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Those who are healthy may only suffer short-term symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

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