Schreiber Foods issues voluntary recall on cheeses

Food and Drug Administration

GREEN BAY, WI - Schreiber Foods, Inc. has issued a voluntary Class 1 recall on certain Colby Jack and Mexican Blend cheese products after receiving notification that a supplier's cheese may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

This bacterium may cause serious or sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirth among pregnant women.

The recalled cheese was distributed nationally under 22 different brand names. At the retail level, the affected Colby Jack and Mexican Blend is packaged in chunk, cube, longhorn, loaf and shredded styles for several supermarket chains and carries expiration dates that range between November 14, 2000 and June 20, 2001 on the package. It is important to note that each brand has a specific range of expiration dates associated with this voluntary recall. Only Colby Jack and Mexican Blend cheese products with the expiration dates noted on the complete roster of recalled products are covered in the precautionary recall. Consumers are being asked to either dispose of the cheese or return it to the retailer where it was purchased.

A complete list of affected products also is available by calling 1-800-637-8259. No other Schreiber Foods products are affected.

"Schreiber Foods' first concern is the well-being of consumers," said Larry P. Ferguson, Schreiber Foods president and chief executive officer. "We're voluntarily recalling these products to make certain that no one is put at risk by a product packed by Schreiber Foods."

The company has received no complaints or reports of illness associated with the products.

The recall was a result of testing conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and reported to Schreiber Foods by the cheese manufacturer, Hill and Valley Cheese Inc. of Cashton, Wis. The manufacturer notified Schreiber that Listeria monocytogenes had been found in some of the cheese made by Hill and Valley. Schreiber Foods has suspended all production using cheese made by Hill and Valley, supplier of the Colby Jack which was also used in the Mexican Blend products. Both Schreiber Foods and the supplier are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to assure an effective recall.