Cheese Blamed For Australia Listeria Outbreak

Authorities in several Australian states are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has sickened eight people in New South Wales (3), Victoria (2), Queensland (1), Tasmania (1) and Western Australia (1). Three more cases are under investigation and may also be part of the outbreak. No other details have been released.

According to health warnings posted by the New South Wales and Victoria departments of health, the outbreak is linked to a number of Jindi and Wattle Valley brand soft cheeses sold at delicatessens and supermarkets throughout Australia. On December 19th, a recall notice for the following cheeses was posted on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website:

  • Jindi Brie – 1 kg
  • Jindi Camembert – 1 kg
  • Jindi Food Service Brie – 1 kg
  • Wattle Valley Brie – 1 kg
  • Wattle Valley Camembert – 1 kg

All of the recalled cheeses carry a Best Before date of 21 December 2012. As these cheeses are commonly cut into smaller portions for sale to the public, the original identifying packaging may no longer be available.

Advice to Consumers

  • Consumers are advised to check the best before date of any Jindi or Wattle Valley soft cheeses and, if from the identified batch, they should discard it or return to the place of purchase for a full refund.
  • Consumers who have purchased a cut portion of camembert or brie from a supermarket or delicatessen who are unsure of the brand should discard it. If in doubt, THROW IT OUT.
  • Healthy people usually show only mild symptoms. However, in people at risk, early symptoms of listeriosis include fever, headache, tiredness and aches and pains. Listeria monocytogenes can cause miscarriages in pregnant women, stillbirths, and death in people with compromised immune systems. Anyone who experiences symptoms consistent with listeriosis and who consumed brie or camembert within 70 days prior to becoming ill should seek immediate medical attention.

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