Panera Bread recalls cream cheese over listeria fears
NEW YORK — Panera Bread is recalling cream cheese products from its US bakery cafes over fears of listeria contamination.
The chain said it was issuing the voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution” after samples of one of its cream cheese products from a single day of production showed a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
Listeria contamination can cause fever and diarrhea and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children.
In a statement, Panera Bread said it was recalling all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products with an expiration date on or before the second of April 2018 (4/2/18).
“Tests on cream cheese samples manufactured both before and after the production run in question have all come back negative,” the company said.
“We have likewise ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility,” said Blaine Hurst, Panera’s President and CEO.
About 1,600 people become infected with listeria each year, and about 260 die, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the bacteria may cause fever and diarrhea, just like other foodborne bugs, certain people are at greatly increased risk: the elderly, people with a weak immune system, pregnant women and their newborns.
Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other people to become infected, and the bacteria can be passed on to the developing fetus, the CDC says. The infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and premature labor.