“Nazareth Classic” and “Nazareth Light” cheese 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.
Less than 70 cases of the recalled “Nazareth Classic and Nazareth Light Cheeses” were distributed mostly in North East retail stores. Recall notices were sent to all retail outlets that received the potentially affected product.
The product comes in bulk (2 loafs 6-7 lbs per case). The product is usually sold at retail in random weight cuts. Labels read Nazareth Classic and Nazareth Light “imported by Atalanta Corp”. The affected lots are 5030008, 5030009, 11350044, 11350045, 11350046, 10840120 and are marked with expiration dates of 3/13/2011 through 7/29/2011.
No illnesses have been reported in connection with the problem.
The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the Belgium manufacturer revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the bulk.
All remaining inventory of the affected product has been quarantined and will be destroyed under FDA supervision. Consumers who have purchased wedge cuts of “Nazareth Classic and Nazareth Light” 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).