Cheese lovers will have to forego their favorite snack if they have a certain brand in their fridge. Earlier in August, Mother Dairy brand recalled Paneer Fresh Cheese due to E. coli contamination, which has the potential to cause serious illness. The recall only affects consumers in Canada, where the recalled cheese was available for purchase in Alberta.
Consumers were alerted to the recall in a notice posted by Health Canada on Aug. 4. The recall only affects Mother Dairy brand Paneer Fresh Cheese. Consumers can identify if they have the recalled product through certain identifying features. The cheese was sold in Alberta, Canada in a 340-gram size. The cheese also features the UPC "6 98708 98763 3" and code BB 2022/10/23." This cheese, per Health Canada, should not be used, sold, served, or distributed due to the potential health risk it poses.
The recall comes amid a similar recall issued by Sober Island brand. On the same day Mother Dairy recalled its Paneer Fresh Cheese, Sober Island recalled OG Oysters due to generic E. coli. That recall affected oysters sold in Nova Scotia in variable weights. Although the recalled product does not have a UPC code, it does feature code "PO077656."
Both recalls were issued due to E. coli contamination. Escherichia coli, commonly abbreviated as E. coli, are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. While some strains are harmless, others, such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), can make people sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some people may also experience a fever. Symptoms can appear three to four days after exposure to contaminated foods, though the CDC notes illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure.
Due to the risk products possibly contaminated with E. coli pose to consumers, health officials recommend that products contaminated with the bacterium not be consumers. These products also shouldn't be sold or distributed. In the case of the Paneer Fresh Cheese recall, Health Canada classified the recall as a "Class 2" recall, or "a situation in which the use of, or exposure to, a product may cause temporary adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote."