By The Associated Press
Saturday, March 26, 2005
GREAT BARRINGTON — A gourmet cheesemaker is voluntarily recalling 13 small wheels of blue cheese that were distributed in Berkshire County because they may have been contaminated with listeria, government regulators said yesterday.
The recall affects handmade wheels of Berkshire Blue Cheese made by Berkshire Cheese Makers that were sent to stores within the county in late February or early March, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The recalled wheels, weighing about 2 1/2 pounds each, carry batch codes “QA” and “QB.” The batch codes are written on the label.
No illnesses reported.
The listeria was discovered during a routine sampling by the FDA. No illnesses have been reported related to the recall, the company said.
Michael Miller, owner of the company that makes about 50 wheels of cheese a week, said yesterday that he suspended manufacture and distribution after he was notified of the FDA’s finding.
He said he has commissioned an independent laboratory to test his cheeses and determine the source of the contamination.
“We won’t resume distribution until we have a clean bill of health and the source of the contamination has been found,” said Miller, a former president of The Eagle.
Listeria can cause short-term fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea in healthy people and more serious infections in pregnant women, the elderly and those with weak immune systems.
Consumers should contact the company at (413) 528-9529 if they have any of the recalled batch codes. The cheese should not be eaten, the FDA said.