Health & Lifestyle

Urgent recall of cheese sold at Morrisons and Asda: Food safety chiefs slap ‘do not eat’ warnings on products feared to be contaminated with listeria

  •  The Italian soft cheese has been recalled over fears batches contain listeria
  • Listeria poisoning can be similar to flu and cause high temperature and sickness

Supermarkets are urgently recalling cheese over fears it may be contaminated with listeria.

Morrisons and ASDA have both issued ‘do not eat’ alerts over Taleggio, a soft Italian cheese.

Two products, one at each supermarket, are affected. 

Food safety chiefs fear Brits who consume them could be sickened. Listeria can be life-threatening.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today told the public not to eat the The Best Taleggio sold at Morrisons (pictured). All batches of the cheese up to and including April 28, 2024 are affected by the recall

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today told the public not to eat the The Best Taleggio sold at Morrisons (pictured). All batches of the cheese up to and including April 28, 2024 are affected by the recall

ASDA recalled its ASDA Extra Special Taleggio on March 31, also due to possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes

ASDA recalled its ASDA Extra Special Taleggio on March 31, also due to possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today told the public not to eat the The Best Taleggio sold at Morrisons.

All batches of the cheese – up to and including April 28, 2024 – are affected by the recall.

This recall comes after ASDA recalled its ASDA Extra Special Taleggio on March 31, also due to possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes. 

The supermarket is recalling all batches with the use by date April 14, 2024. 

No other products are currently affected by the recall at either of the supermarkets. 

The Italian soft cheese is sold in 200g packs for £2.75 in ASDA and £3.29 in Morrisons. 

Both supermarkets explain to customers on their websites that the cheese develops a natural edible mould on the rind as it matures, which is typical of this type of cheese. 

What is listeriosis?

Most people that catch listeriosis, caused by bacteria called listeria, will only experience mild symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Other symptoms of the infection can include a high temperature of 38C or above, aches and pains, and chills, according to the NHS.

However, more serious complications can develop in those with weakened immune systems, babies, the elderly and pregnant women.

Many foods can harbour listeria, but it is usually found in unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses and ready-to-eat foods, such as prepacked sandwiches. 

Listeria is widespread in the environment and can be found in raw food and soil, and in the droppings of many mammals, birds, and fish.

Around 120 cases of listeriosis are confirmed every year in England, according to figures. It strikes around 1,600 annually in the US.

HOW CAN YOU AVOID LISTERIOSIS?

  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • wash fruit and vegetables before eating them
  • store ready-to-eat foods as recommended by the manufacturer
  • make sure all hot food is steaming hot all the way through

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However, it is not advised pregnant women eat this type of cheese. 

The supermarkets have issued point-of sale notices to their customers explaining why the products are being recalled and urging customers not to eat the affected packs.

Instead, they ask customers to return the product to their nearest store where they will be given a full refund even if they do not have a receipt. 

Morrisons said: ‘Please do not eat this product and return it to your nearest store for a full refund. We don’t need a receipt.

‘No other products are affected by this issue. We apologise for the inconvenience this ma cause and assure customers of our continuing commitment to the highest standard of product quality and safety.’

ASDA said: ‘Please bring it back to your nearest store where you will be given a full refund. you do not need your receipt.’

It added: ‘We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.’ 

The FSA issues food recalls – which ask customers to return a product – when problems are spotted that means a product should not be sold. 

Listeria is a bacteria which poses a particular threat to the elderly, pregnant women and babies.  

For most people, listeria poisoning can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills and feeling or being sick.

Usually symptoms recede after a few days. 

However, some vulnerable groups can develop life-threatening complications, such as sepsis and meningitis. 

Listeria most commonly infects chilled, ready-to-eat foods such as pre-packed sandwiches, pate and soft cheeses.

According to the latest available data, a total of 124 cases of listeriosis were reported in England and Wales in 2020. 

Meanwhile in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 1,600 people get listeriosis each year. 


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