Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360].
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections linked to the consumption of Jule's Cashew Brie, a plant-based vegan cheese alternative.
In response, Jule's Foods of Carlsbad, California, is recalling all varieties of Jule's Foods products.
CDC identified an outbreak of five illnesses from S. Duisburg, which is considered a rare serotype of the bacteria
In a statement, officials said all of the samples taken from the sick patients are highly correlated based on whole genome sequencing analysis, or DNA fingerprinting of the pathogen, while of the five people interviewed, three -- 60 percent -- said they had eaten Jule's Truffle Cashew Brie, the only common product identified.
Researchers from the California Department of Public Health and the Tennessee Department of Health collected samples of Jule's Cashew Brie, including the classic version, Truffle Cashew Brie and Black Garlic Cashew Brie, at various retail outlets.
Preliminary results indicated that Jule's Cashew Brie products collected and tested in California may be contaminated with salmonella.
Subsequently, additional testing confirmed the presence of Salmonella and further testing is underway to determine if the type of Salmonella found in the products matches the outbreak strain.
Based on such preliminary sample results, on April 21, 2021, the company agreed to voluntarily recall all Jule's Cashew Brie products..
The tested products were sold on the company's website and at select retail locations. In addition, as a precaution, the company is also recalling its plant-based dairy alternative Jule's Spinach Artichoke Dip and Jule's Vegan Ranch Dressing, products that were sold directly to customers over the Internet.
In light of the evidence, FDA investigators and state inspectors from the California Department of Public Health arrived at the company on April 21, 2021 to conduct an inspection and collect more product and environmental samples.
Currently, the FDA investigation is ongoing to determine the source of the contamination, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available, officials said in a statement.
They also advised consumers, restaurants and retailers not to eat, sell or serve the recalled Jule's Foods products. "Consumers should discard the recalled Jule's Foods products or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.
FDA recommends that anyone who has received or suspects that they have received recalled Jule's brand products pay special attention to cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
This, he said, includes cutting boards, slicers, countertops, refrigerators and storage containers.