Listeriosis is a potentially fatal sickness caused by consuming food infected with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. As per the CDC website, each year, an estimated 1,600 people contract listeriosis, with approximately 260 dying. Pregnant women, newborns, individuals 65 and older, and people with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable to the virus.

As per Doug Schnell, the company’s head of manufacturing and operations, testing discovered listeria bacteria on a cutting board at the Brothers Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri plant on May 3. A joint statement was released by the company and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

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Schnell stated: “We had a routine FDA audit — several entities audit us through the year — and we had a positive hit in our cheese room on one of our cutting boards.” 

Brothers Inc. is a company that transforms large blocks of cheese into individual servings for consumers.

As per the company, all of that day’s cutting boards and cheese were discarded, and the room was sterilised.

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Milton Prairie Breeze White, Paris Brothers Pepper Jack, Cottonwood River Cheddar, D’amir Brie Double Crème French Brie, Paris Brothers Mild Cheddar, Cervasi Pecorino Romano, Milton Tomato Garlic Cheddar and Paris Brothers Colby Jack are all brand names that the company’s cheese is sold under. 

The bacteria is suspected to be in the batches of cheese on shelves in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Iowa, Florida, Nebraska, South Dakota and Arkansas.

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Price Chopper, Super Saver, and Harps are among the stores affected.

What is listeria? 

Listeria is a bacterial infection caused by consuming foods infected with Listeria monocytogenes. 

Listeria infection, also known as listeriosis, is rare, but it can be fatal in people who are at risk, such as the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

Every year, an estimated 260 Americans die from listeriosis. 

Fever, headaches, and weariness are all symptoms of listeria, as are meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

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People over the age of 65 who have had their immune systems impaired by illnesses such as cancer, liver or renal disease, or diabetes are particularly vulnerable. 

Listeria has caused miscarriages, stillbirths, and sick newborns at birth, so pregnant women should take extra precautions.

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How to prevent listeria? 

Antibiotics used early in the treatment of listeria can aid, but prevention is the best option.