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A recall of Panera Bread cream cheese has been enacted because of the potential for contamination by the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, according to news reports.
The St. Louis-based company said that, although no illnesses have been reported, it is voluntarily recalling all 2-ounce and 8-ounce cream cheese products sold in its restaurants. The action was taken after samples of one variety of 2-ounce cream cheese from one production day showed a positive result for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.
The company said tests on samples manufactured before and after the production run in question came back negative.
“The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the U.S. with an active shelf life. We have likewise ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility,” Blaine Hurst, company president and CEO, said in a news release. “Only one variety of two-ounce cream cheese from a single day yielded the positive result. Our intent is to go above and beyond for our guests. You should expect nothing less from Panera.”
What is Listeria monocytogenes?
Listeria monocytogenes – more commonly Listeria – is a bacteria that can result in listeriosis if contracted by eating contaminated food. Approximately 1,600 Americans are affected by listeriosis annually. The infection can be quite severe — approximately 16 percent (260) of infected people die.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that symptoms of listeriosis include fever and diarrhea, as well as:
- stiff neck
- loss of balance
Symptoms usually take one to four weeks to develop but can appear as quickly as 24 hours or take as long as 70 days.