Imported Cheese Brand Recalled For Listeria Contamination

WASHINGTON (AP) - A New York company is recalling 11 varieties of cheese imported from Israel because they may be contaminated with a sometimes fatal food poisoning germ.

Recalled are Zuriel/Golan brand cheeses with a sell-by date of March 25 or later. The cheeses were sold in kosher stores in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

Consumers should not eat the recalled cheese but return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Food and Drug Administration testing discovered listeria in some batches, and imports have been suspended until the source is found, said distributor Ahava Food Corp. of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Listeria is a bacterium that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, food poisoning in young children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems. It also can cause miscarriages or stillbirths even if a pregnant woman experiences no symptoms. In healthy people, listeria can cause headache, high fever, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

The recall includes the following Zuriel/Golan varieties:

  • Halomy
  • Olive 5 percent Cream Cheese
  • Bulgarian
  • Goat Feta Spread
  • Onion 1/2 percent Cream Cheese
  • Fermier; Bery; Camembert
  • Fomme de Provence
  • Bucheron
  • Olive 1/2 percent Cream Cheese

No illnesses have been reported.

Consumers with questions may call Ahava at (718) 243-0400.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)