Press Release
July 3, 2013
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500
Sabrina L. Miller (312) 814-8194

State Health Department Investigating Listeria Outbreak Linked to Cheese

Pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems most at risk

CHICAGO – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is urging consumers who may have purchased Les Frères cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese, a Wisconsin producer, to dispose of it, as it has been linked to a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis.

One Illinois resident reported becoming ill after eating the cheese in mid-May. Consumers who may have purchased Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics are urged to dispose of the following cheeses: Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles.

“Listeriosis infection can cause serious illness, particularly to vulnerable populations including newborns, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “If you still have any of these cheeses in your refrigerator or freezer, throw them out immediately, and if you are experiencing any symptoms of listeriosis, please see your health care provider right away.”

Listeriosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Symptoms often begin 3 weeks after infection, but can take anywhere from 3 to 70 days. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. Approximately 25 to 35 cases of listeriosis are reported in Illinois each year.

IDPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the ongoing investigation. IDPH is testing a sample of the cheese and is advising grocery stores and distributors to pull the products and not sell them until further information is available.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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