California dairy recalls soft cheeses due to possible Listeria link

By on September 18, 2015

California company Karoun Dairies has recalled a number of soft cheese products due to possible association with Listeria cases over five years in nine states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

The CDC said it is investigating cases of 24 people infected with closely related Listeria strains in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington between August 2010 and August this year.

One death was reported in Ohio, the CDC said, but did not provide a date.

"The investigation has not conclusively identified the source of this outbreak, but most ill people interviewed reported eating soft cheese before becoming ill. The investigation is ongoing," the CDC said in a statement.

Karoun Dairies announced its voluntary nationwide recall on Wednesday and listed 15 cheeses including Goat Milk Feta, Queso Blanco, Nabulsi and others.

The dairy said none of its products has tested positive for Listeria, but was doing the recall and ceasing to distribute those chesses due to the association.

The CDC said that 18 of the 22 affected people who were able to provide information, reported eating soft cheeses in the month before becoming ill. Only seven specified a brand of cheese, and four of those reported brands distributed by Karoun Dairies, the CDC said. "No other brand of cheese was reported more than once," the CDC said.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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