The CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis). Listeria infection can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.
Five rare DNA fingerprints of Listeria are included in this investigation.
Whole genome sequencing showed that the Listeria strains with the five rare DNA fingerprints are closely related genetically.
24 people infected with one of the closely related Listeria strains have been reported from 9 states since August 8, 2010. 22 people were hospitalized. Five illnesses were pregnancy-related; one resulted in a fetal loss. One death was reported from Ohio.
Epidemiologic and laboratory information indicates that soft cheeses distributed by Karoun Dairies are the likely source of this outbreak. This investigation is ongoing.
Nineteen (83%) of the 23 ill people with available information reported eating soft cheese in the month before becoming ill.
Four of seven ill people who specified a brand of cheese reported brands distributed by Karoun Dairies. No other brand of soft cheese was reported more than once.
FDA isolated Listeria monocytogenes from two environmental samples collected in September 2015 from the Central Valley Cheese, Inc. manufacturing facility in Turlock, California. Central Valley Cheese, Inc. manufactures cheese for Karoun Dairies. Whole genome sequencing showed that the two isolates are closely related genetically to isolates from ill people.
Whole genome sequencing showed that five Listeria isolates collected in 2010 from the same facility are also closely related genetically to isolates from ill people.
On September 16, 2015, Karoun Dairies, Inc. voluntarily recalled and ceased production of 15 types of soft cheeses that the company distributes due to possible contamination with Listeria.
Products were sold under the following brands: Karoun, Arz, Gopi, Queso Del Valle, Central Valley Creamery, and Yanni.
Products are vacuum packed, in jars or in pails. Weights vary from 5 ounces to 30 pounds.
A full list of cheeses is available on the Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers page.
Photos of the recalled cheeses are available.
Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell recalled cheeses. These products may be contaminated with Listeria and may make people sick.
Listeria: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as caramel apples, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.
If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.