A total of six people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria were reported from six states.
Sick people’s samples were collected from August 6, 2017, to August 5, 2022.
Sick people ranged in age from 56 to 83 years, with a median age of 78, and 67% were female. Five people were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.
The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not have been limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria.
State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the five people interviewed, four (80%) reported eating brie or camembert cheese. Most people did not remember the brand of the cheese they ate, but one person reported eating Lidl Premium Brand Brie. Old Europe Cheese was the only manufacturer of Lidl Premium Brand Brie.
FDA, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, inspected the Old Europe Cheese facility in Michigan and collected samples for testing. WGS showed that the Listeria found in the cooling room was closely related genetically to Listeria from sick people’s samples. This provided more evidence that people got sick from eating cheese made by Old Europe Cheese.
On September 30, 2022, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. recalled their brie and camembert cheese.
On October 4, 2022, Swiss American recalled St Louis brand brie cheese made by Old Europe Cheese, Inc.
On October 5, 2022, Old Europe Cheese expanded their recall to include baked brie cheese.
In November 2022, an updated list of stores that received recalled bulk brie and camembert cheese was added to the Old Europe Cheese recall notice. More than 700 stores in 38 states received bulk cheese, and these stores likely repacked and sold them under other brand names before the cheese was recalled.