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September 29, 2003

Bingham Hill Cheese Company Voluntarily Recalls Blue Cheese Because of Possible Health Risk

(SafetyAlerts) - In an expansion of an earlier recall of September 12, 2003, Bingham Hill Cheese Company of Fort Collins, Colorado is voluntarily recalling approximately 2,000 lbs their cow's milk Rustic Blue Cheese purchased since August 1, 2003. The cheese is being recalled because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that 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, L. monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The cheese is being recalled hours after the USFDA alerted the company to test results from two wheels that tested positive for the microorganism. The wheels that tested positive were from batches marked BL04-055 and BL04-069. This is an expansion of an earlier recall of batch BL04-063. Other batches sold after August 1, 2003 include BL04-041, BLO4-055, BL04-62, BL04-69, BL04-090.
There have been no reported illnesses to date.

All batches of Bingham Hill Rustic Blue cheese purchased since August 1, 2003 are being recalled as a measure of safety. The company is urging consumers to throw out the cheese (for added safety) or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

The cheese was distributed in Colorado, Manhattan (NY), San Franscisco Bay area (CA), Chicago (IL), Houston (TX), Minneapolis (MN), Portland (OR), Santa Fe (NM), Miami (FL), Palm Springs (CA), Iowa City (IA), Laramie (WY), Cheyenne (WY) and Atlanta (GA). The cheese was sold as: whole 5 pound wheels in gold wrap; cut pieces in gold wrap; and cut pieces in plastic wrap. The company name appears on gold wrapped wheels and gold wrapped pieces and "Colorado Blue", "Bingham Blue" or "Rustic Blue" would appear on plastic-wrapped pieces. In Colorado, the cheese was distributed to farmers' markets in Boulder, Fort Collins, Minturn, Dillon, Breckenridge and Colorado Springs. In Wyoming, the cheese was distributed to farmers' markets in Laramie and Cheyenne.

Bingham Hill Cheese Company is working closely with the FDA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to assure that the cheese in question is accounted for and destroyed. It is important to the company that public health remains the primary concern, and Bingham Hill Cheese Company will continue to put customers' health as the top priority.

The 4-year old artisan cheese company voluntarily conducts random batch sampling of Rustic Blue as part of its ongoing quality assurance program. Over 100 batches of Rustic Blue have been tested previously by an independent Wisconsin cheese laboratory, Silliker Laboratories, and never found to contain harmful bacteria.

Consumers with questions should feel free to contact cheesemakers/owners Kristi and Tom Johnson at 1-970-227-8008.

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.