A major bakery chain is preemptively recalling an entire line of cream cheese products following a recent test revealing that a dangerous bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, was present in samples taken from the production line on one particular day.
According to USA Today, Panera Bread issued the recall notice on Sunday, citing “an abundance of caution” and emphasizing the fact that no illnesses had been associated with the product or the chain.
The specific products being recalled include all varieties, in all U.S. locations, of Panera Bread’s two- and eight-ounce cream cheese products with expiration dates April 2 or earlier, according to the company’s statement.
Panera Bread President and CEO Blaine Hurst provided a statement on the possible contamination and his company’s response.
“The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the US with an active shelf life,” he said.
Hurst added that the company has “ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility.”
As the company and its CEO stressed, the analysis only yielded positive results from one variety and on only one day of production.
The statement assured customers that tests on subsequent cream cheese samples “have all come back negative.”
As NBC News advised, the bacteria found in the recalled sample can be deadly, especially in young, old or otherwise frail individuals. Symptoms of a potentially life-threatening infection can include fevers and diarrhea.
“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 stillbirths among pregnant women,” the company’s statement read.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention place pregnant women at 10 times the risk of the general population for contracting the infection. Once infected, a pregnant woman is at risk of transferring the bacteria to her baby, as CNN reported.
Roughly 1,600 people are estimated to contract a listeria-related infection annually. Of those, about 260 cases are fatal.
Though all varieties of the company’s cream cheese products are included in the nationwide recall, Canadian products are not affected, nor are any other foods offered by the chain.
The Panera Bread statement was accompanied by several images of the recalled products’ packaging.
Anyone in possession of a recalled product is advised to discard it immediately. Panera Bread is offering affected customers a full refund by contacting customer service at 1-855-6-PANERA or Panera.custhelp.com.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.