Thursday, June 16, 2011


In the previous post, I talked about the two most recent cheese recalls in the U.S. One of them was for Royal Blue Stilton Cheese, imported from England. And I also mentioned another U.S. importer's recall for the same Stilton cheese which I had blogged in May. Of course, these are not the only recalls of Stilton cheese to occur in the U.S. (for instance, Kroger's had a couple of Stilton recalls in December, 2008 and there have been others).

But Stilton recalls are not only hitting the U.S. They are also occurring in Canada - for the same bacteria - Listeria monocytogenes. Like the U.S. cheeses, they were also imported from England. A globalized food supply also means we suffer the same food safety risks.

In early May, about the time of the earlier U.S. Stilton recall for Royal Blue Stilton, there was a recall by a Canadian importer called Tree of Life based in Surrey, BC. The cheese was "King James" brand Blue Stilton Cheese (yet another royal sounding name). The recall was expanded in early June to include additional sizes and lot codes of the affected cheese. The cheese was sold in B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland, but authorities suspect that it may actually have been distributed nationally. In fact, it could also have been sold at deli counters much earlier - between April 14 and May 19. I am trying to find out if it came from the same British dairy.

The British are very proud of their Stilton cheese and they have been producing it at least since the 18th Century. In fact, Stilton is sometimes called "The King of Cheeses." If you want to know how it is made, go to According to this website (I have edited a bit), to be called Stilton, a cheese must be:

• made in one of three counties - Derbyshire, Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire, in England
• produced in one of the only six dairies specially licensed to make Stilton
• made from local pasteurized milk
• a traditional cylindrical shape.
• allowed to form its own crust or coat.
• be un-pressed.
• delicate blue veins radiating from the center.
• have a taste typical of Stilton.

What is happening to this "King of Cheeses?" And where will the next recall crop up? Are they also being exported to the EU countries? After that nasty E.coli outbreak linked to sprouts, all they need is contaminated cheese!

To your good health,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surely with the limited production source of Stilton, the task of identifying and then controlling the outbreak should be relatively simple? I hope that the Stilton cheese manufacturers' association (if such a body exists) will move to ensure that there is no recurrence and I can start eating one of my favorite cheeses again.