Breakfast lovers might want to steer clear of Panera Bread. The chain recently issued a recall on its cream cheese after a sample tested positive for listeria.
The St. Louis-based chain said it is issuing a voluntary recall "out of an abundance of caution." The recall is for all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products with an expiration date on or before April 2, 2018.
Listeria is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. About 1,600 people contract it each year, and about 260 cases are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is most dangerous to pregnant women, people who are 65 or older and those with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as a headache, stiff neck, fatigue, muscle aches, fever, and diarrhea. So far, no cases of illness linked to Panera's cream cheese have been reported. The recall is only for the US cream cheese and does not affect Canada or any other Panera products.
According to USA Today, the cream cheese varieties included in the voluntary recall are Plain Cream Cheese; Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese; Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese; Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese; and Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.
Customers were quick to notice the lack of cream cheese when they made their Monday morning breakfast runs. Twitter user @laurakayeauthor tweeted, "When your Panera Bread store tells you they don't know what they have no cream cheese for the foreseeable future and then a 2-second Twitter search reveals they've recalled it due to possible listeria contamination. O.O"
@brittanyburcham tweeted, "I will say, watching the reactions of people as the Panera Bread cashiers repeat over and over 'no cream cheese' is how I think the apocalypse begins..."
Production in Panera's cream cheese facility connected to the listeria contamination has ceased production, so you're going to have to eat that bagel plain until further notice.