Whole Foods Voluntarily Recalls Blue Cheese Over Listeria Concerns

Maytag blue cheese is being voluntarily recalled by the grocery chain.

ByABC News
March 2, 2016, 11:53 AM

— -- The Whole Foods Market grocery chain is voluntarily recalling a brand of blue cheese over concerns that it may be contaminated with a bacteria that could lead to a potentially dangerous listeria infection.

The chain is recalling certain Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheeses nationwide after two lots of the cheeses were found to have Listeria monocytogenes in Iowa. Whole Foods said in a statement on Monday, which the Food and Drug Administration posted on its website, that there have been no reported infections associated with the bacteria.

The cheeses being recalled have the following labels: "Maytag Blue Raw Milk," "Maytag Blue" or "Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese" and they have PLU numbers beginning with 293308. Their "sell-by" dates are 1/20/2016 and 3/21/16.

Whole Foods advises customers who have purchased the product to discard it. It is also offering a full refund to customers who bring their receipts to stores.

Maytag Dairy Farms first reported its own recall on Friday due to the listeria contamination. The company said it has voluntarily suspended production and distribution while it works with state health inspectors and the FDA to find the cause of the bacteria.

Whole Foods did not immediately respond to requests from ABC News for additional comment.

Listeria can be a notoriously difficult food-borne illness to track because the incubation period is between 3 days and 70 days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacteria can also survive colder temperatures in a fridge. The bacteria is particularly harmful for the elderly or young children. Pregnant women are also at risk since the bacterial infection can cause a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Symptoms of the infection include headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and convulsions.