Monday, February 22, 2016

Cheese Processor Expands Recall of Cheese with Potential for Listeria

Maytag Dairy Farms expanded its recall to include additional lots of cheese that may be contaminated with Listeria.  This initial recall, posted on February 14th, was expanded to one other lot on February 18th and then additional lots were added to the recall on February 19th.  

Unfortunately, this issue, the expanding recall or recall creep, has been seen with other Listeria related recalls.  It starts when a lot of product is recalled in reaction to a Listeria positive sample - it could be product or product contact sample. But once the regulatory folks start poking around, the realization comes that the company does not have a solid understanding of how well they are controlling Listeria.  This is not to say they were not doing Listeria testing,  but the testing program was not providing sufficient data to establish a sense of control.

On the other hand, there are examples of companies who have had recalls, but upon analysis of their faculties, the assessment is made that the positive sample was a aberration based on a solid Listeria control program (sanitation SSOPs, process control, and verification testing.)

FDA Recall Notice
Maytag Dairy Farms Voluntarily Recalls Blue Cheese Products Due to Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release

February 19, 2016

Contact Consumers Maytag Dairy Farms 800-247-2458 or 641-791-2010

View Product Photos
NEWTON, IA – Maytag Dairy Farms is voluntarily recalling 5 lots of "Maytag Blue" blue cheese wedges and wheels and 15 batches of blue cheese crumbles because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recalled product was distributed through retail stores, restaurants, and direct mail orders nationwide between December 11, 2015, and February 11, 2016. Affected products are packaged as follows:
Product(s)Lot #s4 oz. wedges
8 oz. wedges
2 pound wheels
4 pound wheels 150479, 150480, 150481, 150482, 150483
ProductBatch #s5 pound crumbles 950826, 960020, 960037, 960040, 960041, 960049, 960053, 960054, 960067, 960068, 960069, 960070, 960071, 960072, 960073
The lot number or batch number appears on the side or the bottom of the product.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue.

The potential for contamination was discovered after testing by the State of Iowa revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in two lots of product. Maytag Dairy Farms has voluntarily suspended production and distribution while the company collaborates with FDA and the State of Iowa to determine the cause of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to discard them immediately and not consume them. Customers can call Maytag Dairy Farms at 800-247-2458 or 641-791-2010 Monday – Friday 9AM-5PM CST to arrange for a refund and return of the product.

We apologize for any temporary inconvenience or concern that our voluntary recall is causing our customers and the families who have enjoyed our products for generations. To learn more and for updates, please visit

FDA Recall Notice
Maytag Dairy Farms Expands Voluntary Recall of Blue Cheese Due to Food Safety Concern
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2016

Contact ConsumersMaytag Dairy Farms 800-247-2458 or 641-791-2010
MediaDustin Vande Hoef 515-281-3375 or 515-326-1616 (cell)

View Product Photos

Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, IA today announced a voluntary recall of lot number 150482 of Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheese due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. This follows the recall of lot number 150481 that was announced this past weekend.

Lot 150482 includes approximately 1100 pounds of cheese, some of which has been distributed to retail locations prior to the initial recall by Maytag Dairy Farms. No cheese has been distributed since the initial positive test for Listeria monocytogenes.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Dairy Products Control Bureau discovered the possible contamination as part of the follow-up testing of cheese products from the facility. To date there have been no reported illnesses linked to the product.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to not consume them. Customers can call Maytag Dairy Farms at 800-247-2458 or 641-791-2010 to arrange for a refund and return of the product.

Department has been in contact with the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding this situation. Listeria is a pathogen found in the environment. The very young, elderly, and those who are immunocompromised are especially susceptible if they eat product contaminated with listeria. More information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at

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