UPDATED February 15 and 16 with new product recalls.
The recall started last week with Colby cheese after Listeria was found in a random sample of products taken from retail shelves. The incident has since led to several recalls of Sargento, Meijer, and Amish Classics cheese products, as well as other products containing the cheese. For example, Taylor Farms recalled 6,630 pounds of chicken and pork salad products and Country Fresh recalled more than 2,500 cases of stuffed mushrooms that contained Sargento cheese.
The affected products can be traced back to the supplier Deutsch Kase Haus and its former parent company Guggisberg Cheese, which Food Safety News notes have had Listeria problems in the past. In the fall of 2009, the FDA found Listeria in three of 25 environmental surface swabs. In 2013, the FDA concluded that Deutsch Kase Haus had addressed the problem.
Last year saw a pair of Listeria-related recalls of frozen vegetables that continued to expand over time. In particular, the CRF frozen foods recall impacted about 450 products.
The FDA has already announced its intentions to perform more inspections this year, and many in the industry predict that more inspections will mean more recalls. There are still many questions surrounding impact of the new administration on the FDA. But with the high cost of a recall, food manufacturers would do well to take every measure possible to prevent Listeria contamination in their facilities.