Listeriosis – Switzerland

A total of 4 patients have been infected by Listeria and one has died after eating potentially contaminated cheese.

During an internal check, Kaeserei Vogel AG, based in Steinerberg, found Listeria in semi-hard cheese and at its production site. The company issued a recall and informed its buyers to remove the products from shelves.

A diagnosis of invasive listeriosis infection was made in four patients. Three of the people have recovered but one person with underlying health conditions has died.

Kaeserei Vogel informed the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) in Switzerland about the contamination. More than 20 items including sheep and goat cheese, brie, and organic cheese sold across Switzerland have been recalled by the company. Cheeses can be identified as they have number CH-5707 on the packaging. Distribution also includes Belgium and Germany.

Photo: Listeria monocytogenes.

Denner, a supermarket in Switzerland, has recalled all expiration dates of “Denner Fromage de montagne de la Suisse centrale”. Migros, another retailer in the country, recalled all batches of 5 cheese products sold at different stores because of the problem.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

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