• A company is recalling batches of cheese after testing picked up traces of Listeria
  • A single piece of equipment was identified as the possible source
  • Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than others to get Listeria infection

Cahill's Farm Cheese is recalling 33 batches of specialty cheddar cheese because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

The problem was discovered during routine testing, the company announcement posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website noted. The investigation identified equipment to be the possible source of the problem, and it was "immediately removed" from the production line.

"All our products manufactured since have tested fully clear," the company noted.

The recall affects 33 batches of products with batch codes 21109 to 21141. This includes the 5-pound deli wheels of Cahill's Original Irish Porter Cheese, Cahill's Irish Whiskey Cheese and Cahill's Wine Cheese. These were sometimes cut and repacked or used in foodservice. Also affected by the recall are the 200g/7-ounce retail packs of Lidl Preferred Selection-Irish Stout Cheddar and Lidl Preferred Selection-Red Wine Cheddar.

"The batch code can be found both on the outer case label and on the back of pack label." the company said. "Safety is our number one priority, and we are therefore recalling the batches referred to above as a precautionary measure and recommend customers do not consume the product."

Listeriosis is a serious infection that is caused by consuming products that are contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted. About 1,600 people are affected by Listeriosis in the U.S. each year and about 260 die, the agency said.

Among the people primarily affected by Listeriosis are pregnant women, newborns, older adults and those with weakened immune systems. According to the CDC, it is "rare" for people in other groups to get sick with a Listeria infection, but pregnant women are said to be 10 times more likely to get a Listeria infection compared to other people.

As of the recall notice, the company has not received any reports of illnesses related to the product yet. It also assured its customers that it is working with Irish regulatory bodies to make sure the products are only sold after completing "satisfactorily analytical and microbiological safety tests."

"Cahill's Farm Cheese has been in operation over 40 years and works to the highest food production standards," the company said. "We would like to reassure our customers that once the low-level result was detected, we immediately sought to identify the source of the problem and have implemented all corrective measures."

Those who may have bought an affected product may return it to where it was bought to get a full refund.

Cheese Tray Representative image of a cheese tray. Photo: Jill Wellington/Pixabay