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NEWS RELEASE · 8th March 2010
BC Centre for Disease Control
Following a provincial product recall, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is warning the public not to consume Camembert cheese manufactured by Moonstruck Organic Cheese located on Saltspring Island. This recall is the result of a routine sampling program by the BCCDC, which revealed that one wheel of the finished product contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Other batches of product may also be affected.

Three Camembert varieties are potentially contaminated, including White Moon, Savory Moon, and Ash-Ripened. Affected products include:

* Code 240110 with best before dates of 03/03/10, 10/03/10, and
24/03/10
* Code 200110 with best before date 03/03/10
* Code 290110 with best before dates 10/03/10, 17/03/10 and 23/03/10
* Code 050210 with best before dates 17/03/10, 23/03/10 and 02/04/10
* Code 120210 with best before dates 23/03/10 and 02/04/10
* Code 190210 with best before date 02/04/10

In order to ensure the health and safety of their consumers, the manufacturer has provided product labels so the public can easily identify the affected product. Visit http://www.bccdc.ca/resources/news-alert /alerts/ListeriaCheeseMarch8.htm to view these labels.

This product was sold through various retailers in British Columbia, and anyone who may have purchased this recalled cheese should not consume it, and discard or return it to their place of purchase. The BCCDC is concerned that this cheese product may still be in the homes of consumers as Camembert cheeses can be stored and consumed well beyond the product's best before date. Listeria, if present, will grow to high numbers even if the cheese has been stored in the refrigerator. Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled.

The BCCDC is currently working with BC Health Authorities, the BC Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport and the CFIA to ensure the recalled product is removed from distribution and is investigating any possible cases of illness. Currently there are no cases linked to this recall, and the manufacturer is cooperating with authorities to ensure the product is removed from distribution.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. To date, only one person with listeriosis has been reported in BC this year, though this case was not associated with the consumption of this product.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal blood infections or meningitis in frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and the elderly should avoid higher risk foods such as deli meats, smoked raw fish, unpasteurised milk and cheese and soft pasteurised cheeses.

If you have consumed this recalled product and have symptoms compatible with Listeria infection, call the 24-hour HealthLink BC Line at 1-866-215-4700, contact your physician, or view the BC HealthFiles on Listeria at www.bchealthguide.org/healthfiles. For more
information, please visit: www.bccdc.ca.