One 8-9 lb wheel of “Royal Blue Stilton” cheese contained in a master case with batch code B038 has been recalled by Atalanta Corporation, an Elizabeth, New Jersey based food distributor, because the product has 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 potential for contamination was noted after Atalanta Corp decided to test its “Royal Blue Stilton” cheese in reaction to another importer’s recall of product manufactured by the same English dairy. Testing revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the some of the wheels tested.
No illnesses have been reported in connection with the problem.
This product is routinely cut at retail from the bulk wheel and sold in random weight cuts. The retail labels could read “Product of England” “Keep Refrigerated” “Royal Blue Stilton” “English Semi-Hard Cheese”. This label is also distinguishable by a small circular English flag in the upper left, the logo of the exporter “Coombe Castle International” in the upper center. The cheese was manufactured in England by Quenby Hall Dairy and exported by Coombe Castle. Not all cheese exported by Coombe Castle International is manufactured by Quenby Hall Dairy. The affected lot is marked B038 on the original case cartons and have no specific expiration dates.
All remaining inventory of the affected product has been quarantined and will be destroyed under FDA supervision. Consumers who have purchased wedge cuts of “Royal Blue Stilton” cheese affected by this recall are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 908-351-8000 (EST 9:00 – 5:00 PM).