Lovers of fresh bread and fast food were alarmed at the end of January when the popular restaurant chain Panera Bread issued a sudden recall affecting their pre-packaged cream cheese, saying that the product was potentially tainted with listeria. According to the statement from Panera Bread, the recall of this product was a voluntary action performed by the company after testing done within Panera’s quality control department discovered that specific samples from one day of cream cheese manufacturing in a specific factory contained the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.
While the sample containing the listeria bacteria strain was only from a certain day’s batch of cream cheese, the company made clear in its statement that it would be recalling both 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheeses with expiration dates of April 2, 2018, or before.
The current president and CEO of Panera Bread, Blaine Hurst, also made clear to mention in the statement that none of the samples tested before or after the date of the initially tainted sample contained any trace of the bacteria. The wide recall is in order to cast a much larger net than likely needed just in case the bacteria was present and not discovered in the earlier and later samples.
Hurst also reported that all production of cream cheese in the facility where the tainted samples were discovered has since ceased, although Hurst did not indicate whether or not the facility will resume cream cheese work in the future or if they are responsible for producing any of Panera’s other products.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics on listeria indicates that almost 16,000 people contract the disease every year. Out of this number, nearly 260 die as a result of the bacteria’s presence in their bodies, with the elderly, ill, and those with unusually incapacitated immune systems at risk.
The people for whom listeria poses the greatest danger, however, are pregnant people and newborns. Studies have shown that listeria is 10 times more likely to affect a pregnant person than a non-pregnant person, and that there is a high probability that if a pregnant individual contracts listeria that the illness will transfer to the fetus resulting in numerous complications.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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