You may have heard about the recent recall of Jule’s Foods Cashew Brie plant-based cheese products last month. The brand issued the recall voluntarily in late April after five people contracted Salmonella bacteria. An investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control linked back to Jule’s Foods cashew cheeses.
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The Southern California-based company quickly posted a public advisory through the Food and Drug Administration, suspended production of their five plant-based cheese products, and recommended that consumers either dispose of their Jule’s Foods cheese immediately or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Since then, the Tennessee Department of Health and the California Department of Public Health has pursued more background. On Friday, May 7, a follow-up FDA advisory revealed that two more individuals have come down with Salmonella poisoning after eating the cheese, totaling seven Salmonella cases in California, Florida, and Tennessee. According to the FDA, the last illness onset occurred on April 8, and three individuals have been hospitalized.
From the FDA’s site:
FDA investigators collected several ingredients, in-process (or aging) products, and finished cashew-based products at the Jule’s Foods facility. Samples of un-opened, raw cashews collected from the Jule’s Foods facility also tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella Urbana as the TDH and CDPH product samples and two California clinical isolates.
The FDA’s traceback investigation led to the finding that “the cashews have been identified as the likely source of contamination in the Jule’s Cashew Brie products.” They added: “The FDA is working with the firm that supplied the cashews to ensure that all potentially contaminated product has been withdrawn from the market.”
They advise consumers, restaurants, and retailers not to eat, sell, or serve the recalled foods and make sure surfaces and utensils are well sanitized if they come into contact with these Jule’s Foods products.
Jules’ Foods cashew-based cheeses were sold at “primarily independently owned grocery stores” in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas. The FDA points out that Jule’s Foods Cashew Brie may have reached states beyond those distribution points, as well.
Yet one more lesson that food poisoning can indeed turn up from the most minor expected sources—check out The 5 Most Alarming Grocery Store Food Poisoning Risks, Warns FDA. And for the latest grocery news, sign up for our newsletter.