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General Foods Links Two More Cheeses To Listeria Contamination

August 20, 1985

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ General Foods has extended its recall of contaminated cheese to include soft-ripened Camembert and Brie marketed under the Cheese Lifestyle label, the company said Tuesday.

The company earlier recalled its Liederkranz soft-ripened cheese, saying one batch had been found to be contaminated with the same listeria monocytogenes bacteria that has been linked to 61 deaths and stillbirths in seven states.

General Foods spokeswoman Trecie Fennell said a similar type of bacteria was detected in the Cheese Lifestyle Camembert. Although no bacteria were found in the Brie, Miss Fennell said the company decided to recall all soft- ripened cheeses produced for its Otto Roth cheese subsidiary at a plant in Van Wert, Ohio.

The Liederkranz, also marketed under the Cheese Lifestyle label, was produced at the same plant. It is not known if any contaminated cheese reached the marketplace, and no instances of illness have been reported. General Foods said it has not determined the source of the contamination.

Customers were asked to return any Cheese Lifestyle Brie or Camembert to the store where it was purchased. General Foods said customers would receive a full refund.

Although the Liederkranz was distributed nationwide, the Brie and Camembert were shipped only to 14 states east of the Rocky Mountains: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

The Brie and Camembert were wrapped in foil and sold in four-ounce white, halfmoon-shaped cardboard cartons, General Foods said.

General Foods announced its recall of Liederkranz on Aug. 14, five days after being told by the federal Food and Drug Administration that it might be contaminated.

Miss Fennell said the company waited until the FDA had confirmed that that cheese was contaminated with listeria monocytogenes bacteria before announcing the recall.

Miss Fennell said the bacteria found in the Camembert was in the listeria family, but had not been pinpointed as listeria monocytogenes. She said an FDA report more clearly identifying the bacteria was expected Thursday or Friday.

Listeria monocytogenes is the same bacteria that was found in Mexican-style cheeses produced in California and linked to recent deaths and stillbirths in California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

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