- Sargento Foods Inc. is voluntarily expanding its Feb. 10 recall of cheese supplied by Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC, due to potential listeria contamination that originated at the supplier’s facility, according to a company release.
- There have been no confirmed illnesses so far, but Sargento has cut ties with Deutsch Kase Haus in the wake of the recall.
- The products that have been added to the recall include 8-ounce packages of Sargento’s Sliced Colby, Sliced Muenster, Shredded Reduced Fat Colby-Jack, Shredded Chef Blends 4 Cheese Pizzeria, Artisan Blends Double Cheddar Shredded Cheese, 7.5-ounce packages of Sliced Pepper Jack and 6.67-ounce packages of Sliced Tomato and Basil Jack. Additionally, Food Safety News reports that cheese brands Sara Lee, Saputo, Dutch Valley and Guggisberg, as well as store-branded products from Meijer, Albertsons and H-E-B are impacted.
Despite the lack of related illnesses, Sargento Foods is taking a vigilant approach to consumer safety — and may be taking precautions that are above and beyond what's necessary.
This ripple effect is something that manufacturers should pay close attention to. The recall has already impacted several brands of cheese and RTE salads, and it may eventually spread further to other food applications.
While the suppliers caught in the middle of an ingredient recall aren’t impacted as strongly as the food companies with the contaminated products, they will likely face some backlash from consumers and enhanced scrutiny going forward. Sargento's termination of its relationship with Deutsch Kase Haus has already proven this to be true. It may not be surprising if other manufacturers don't also sever their ties with the Indiana-based supplier.
Cutting ties with a supplier is a bold move, and other food companies should take a look at the safety measurements in place at their own partner facilities to ensure a similar issue doesn’t happen to them. This might include random checks, increased safety procedures, or an entire supply chain overhaul.