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Listeria in cheese; recalls by Sargento, Meijer, others

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Routine, random testing by Tennessee food inspectors found Listeria monocytogenes in colby cheese and has triggered recalls of a variety of Sargento, Meijer and Amish Classics cheese products.

No illnesses had been reported to Tennessee officials or Michigan-based grocery chain Meijer, according to a state alert and a recall notice posted Thursday and Friday, respectively. However, it can take up to 70 days for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop following exposure to the bacteria.

“Listeria monocytogenes is unlike many other germs because it can grow in a cold environment,” according to the Tennessee alert. “Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and may be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems.”

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