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Kosher Cheese Gets Caught in a Wisconsin Recall of Shredded Cheese



A cheese factory

A cheese factory

A cheese factory

Kosher manufacturers often sub-contract various phases of their production to specialty plants. In many cases, production may be completed in one facility while the packaging, for example, would be carried out by a company that specializes in packaging
For the Haolam and Miller’s brands, they just happened to have their cheese in the wrong place. Last week, Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion, which was contracted to shred and package the kosher cheese, confirmed that some products processed on the shred line contained potentially fatal listeria. Symptoms of listeria include fever, headaches, stiffness and diarrhea.
The company says no illnesses have been reported. While the recalled products were “Brennan’s Cellars Shredded Premium Fondue Blend – Emmentaler Swiss & Gruyere Cheese,” ‘’Brennan’s Cellars Shredded Mild Colored Cheddar Cheese” and “Brennan’s Cellars Shredded Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese,” Wisconsin authorities ordered a “Voluntary Recall” for all products processed at the plant, including Haolam and Miller’s, despite the fact that all of the kosher shredded cheeses tested negative for listeria. In a classical case of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the kosher companies were forced to take steps as if their products were the culprits, which was quite an experience for a company with a near 80-year history without a single product recall. They acted quickly to move their newly produced products to another shredding and packaging plant, this time making sure that they exercised control of what cheese is produced at the plant around the same time. Convincing concerned kosher customers that the kosher cheese products were “innocent bystanders” proved to be an arduous task, but extremely rewarding for the companies who discovered that they really did have a loyal customer base.
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