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September 9, 2008
Listeria found in product sold at Cheese Magic
Toronto Public Health is advising the public that cheese sold at Cheese Magic at 182 Baldwin St. (Kensington Market) has tested positive for the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. The product is not subject to a current recall and is not part of the provincial Listeriosis outbreak associated with deli meats.

“We are asking people to check their refrigerator for cheese purchased prior to September 3 at Cheese Magic and dispose of it,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, an Associate Medical Officer of Health for Toronto Public Health. “Keep in mind that the risk from Listeriosis is low for healthy individuals. Those most at risk of developing serious illness are pregnant women, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.”

If you have already consumed the cheese, watch for symptoms of Listeriosis, especially if you are at high risk. If you experience illness, contact your health care provider. Symptoms may start suddenly and include vomiting, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, severe headache, constipation or fever. Symptoms usually occur within three weeks of eating contaminated foods.

Toronto Public Health recommends people at high risk avoid all unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods.

Toronto Public Health inspectors took samples of cheese sold at Cheese Magic after a pregnant woman, who became ill with Listeriosis, reported eating cheese that was purchased from the store. During the inspections, staff found food that was stored at incorrect temperatures and sanitation issues. On September 3, 2008, inspectors closed the premises when issues remained outstanding. Upon re-inspection, the store met all the food safety requirements and re-opened. Toronto Public Health and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency continue their joint investigation as to the source of the contamination and will ensure that further action is taken as necessary.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



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