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State looking into case of listeria tied to cheese

Updated: July 4, 2013 1:46PM



The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is urging consumers who may have purchased Les Frères cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese, a Wisconsin producer, to dispose of it, as it has been linked to a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis.

One Illinois resident reported becoming ill after eating the cheese in mid-May, according to a release from IDPH. Consumers who may have purchased Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics are urged to dispose of the following cheeses: Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles, the release said.

“Listeriosis infection can cause serious illness, particularly to vulnerable populations including newborns, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems,” IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “If you still have any of these cheeses in your refrigerator or freezer, throw them out immediately, and if you are experiencing any symptoms of listeriosis, please see your health care provider right away.”

Listeriosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Symptoms often begin 3 weeks after infection, but can take anywhere from 3 to 70 days. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. Approximately 25 to 35 cases of listeriosis are reported in Illinois each year.

IDPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the ongoing investigation. IDPH is testing a sample of the cheese and is advising grocery stores and distributors to pull the products and not sell them until further information is available.



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