Although no illnesses have been reported, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture warns consumers to avoid eating some cheese and salsa products from Parkers Farm due to possible listeria contamination. Consumers who believe they may have become ill after eating the products should contact their health care provider.
The Associated Press said that the Coon Rapids-based company is cooperating with the investigation and has issued a voluntary recall for the products, which are widely available at major groceries in Minnesota including Cub, Rainbow, County Market and Kowalski's. Consumers who have purchased these products should return it to the place of purchase or discard it.
According to the Agriculture Department, he list of recalled products includes:
- 8-ounce Parkers cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including sharp cheddar and port wine varieties with a sell by date of 5/21/2015;
- 14-ounce Parkers cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including sharp cheddar and port wine varieties with a sell by date of 5/20/2015;
- 16-ounce Parkers salsa in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including hot, mild, garlic, and fire-roasted varieties with a sell by date of 9/19/2014;
- 5-pound and 10-pound bulk foodservice products including cold pack cheese foods and cheese spreads with a sell by date of 2/17/2015.
The products are distributed locally under the Parkers Farm label.
In March, more than a dozen Parkers Farms products were found to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. At the time, Parkers Farm issued a voluntary recall and cooperated with the investigation by the Agriculture Department, which discovered the problem by sampling the products.
Listeria is a foodborne illness that is especially dangerous to pregnant women, newborn babies and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. FoodServiceNews notes that listeria has a long incubation period. People can get sick up to 70 days after they ingest a contaminated product.
Listeria is among the most deadly of foodborne diseases because of it high fatality rate. Recent Listeria outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada involving people who ate cantaloupe and ready-to-eat meats were the most deadly incidents of their kind for each country in modern history.