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Bagel Breakfasters beware. The bakery-cafe chain Panera Bread is voluntarily recalling a chunk of its cream cheese products sold nationwide, after a sample tested positive for listeria. The voluntary recall is preventive, and (to date) there have been no reports of illness linked to the company's creamy spreads.
All of Panera Bread's 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products with an expiration date on or before April 2nd, 2018 are subject to the voluntary recall. The recall is nationwide, affecting all such cream cheese products sold at the company's 2,000 locations in the United States. That is a lot of cream cheese. As NPR reports, only one type of cream cheese manufactured on a single day tested positive for listeria.
It's a fairly common source of food poisoning. According to foodsafety.gov, listeria is a bacteria that "can be present in raw milk and foods made with raw milk" that can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats.
Listeria can lead to fever, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. It poses a particular risk of danger to young children and pregnant women who are known to suffer serious, sometimes fatal, infections as a result of infection. Time.com notes that around 1,600 people are affected by listeria each year.
Anyone in possession of the recalled cream cheese should toss it out or otherwise dispose of it. Panera Bread is offering a full refund to consumers for their purchases (call 1-855-6-PANERA or visit Panera.custhelp.com). If you've eaten any Panera Bread cream cheese products and fall ill, contact a medical professional.
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