Panera Bread issues voluntary recall of cream cheese due to listeria concerns

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Panera Bread announced that is it conducting a nationwide voluntary recall of all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products sold in its U.S. bakery-cafes, due to concerns over potential listeria contamination.

According to the Jan. 28 Panera announcement, samples of one variety of 2 oz. cream cheese from a single production day showed a positive result for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

While there have been no reported illnesses, Panera said it was conducting a preemptive recall “out of an abundance of caution.” Tests on cream cheese samples manufactured both before and after the production run in question have all come back negative, the company said.

The products included in the recall are all varieties of unexpired 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products with an expiration date on or before 4/2/18. This recall only affects cream cheese sold in Panera Bread United States bakery cafes and does not affect Panera Bread Canadian bakery cafes or any other Panera Bread food products.

“The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the US with an active shelf life.  We have likewise ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility,” said Blaine Hurst, Panera’s President and CEO.

According to the FDA, Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Affected 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese varieties include: Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese, Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.

Consumers in possession of these products should discard them immediately and contact Panera Bread Customer Service at 1-855-6-PANERA from Monday through Sunday, 5 a.m.-10 p.m. CST, or visit Panera.custhelp.com for a full refund.

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