Photo by Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Here’s what you should know

Rebecca Firkser
January 29, 2018

All cream cheese has been voluntarily recalled from Panera Bread United States locations due to fears of a potential listeria contamination. After one sample taken from a cream cheese package tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, Panera Bread decided to remove all cream cheese from locations to ensure the safety of their customers.

“Tests on cream cheese samples manufactured both before and after the production run in question have all come back negative,” said a document issued by Panera Bread. Still, “all varieties of unexpired 2 [ounce] and 8 [ounce] cream cheese with an expiration date on or before 4/2/18 were recalled out of an abundance of caution.” The document includes photos of the recalled products’ packaging, as well as lists all recalled cream cheese flavors. 

Often found in uncooked or ready-to-eat meats, raw vegetables and fruits, as well as products made from milk, listeria is can lead to listeriosis, a rare but potentially dangerous illness. While proper cooking and pasteurization will kill listeria, if the product comes in contact with the bacteria post-cooking, it can still make you sick. Listeriosis, which typically presents with a fever and diarrhea, can be life threatening to pregnant people, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. 

There have been no illnesses reported from people who have eaten Panera Bread cream cheese. Still, the document issued by the chain recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms associated with listeria to contact a medical professional to be safe. “Panera’s No. 1 priority is the safety of guests and associates,” says the document.

Panera reports they plan to restock as soon as possible. However, it’s probably best to avoid the spread for at least the immediate future, especially if you’re pregnant or have a weak immune system.

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