On December 23, 2013, Flat Creek Farm & Dairy of Swainsboro, GA announced a recall of its Heavenly Blue Cheese and Aztec Cheddar cheese. The purpose of this updated press release is to provide the correct lot number for the Aztec Cheddar cheese. The lot number that appears on the Aztec Cheddar cheese is 130823XCAZ, not 130823XAZ as previously reported. As of December 24, 2013, all customers that purchased the product have been notified and all products have been either recovered or destroyed. Since the previous recall, the dairy has conducted extensive independent testing and results come back negative for any contamination.
The 90 pounds of Heavenly Blue and 78 pounds of Aztec Cheddar cheese, were recalled because of potential contamination by Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis, no illnesses have been reported to date.
The cheeses were distributed in certain parts of Georgia and Florida and (6) online orders (www.flatcreekdairy.com), which have all been notified. The product was packed in clear plastic and ranged in sizes from ½ pound to whole wheels. The recall was specific to product marked with the lot codes 130916XHB (Heavenly Blue) and 130823XCAZ (Aztec Cheddar), which can be found on the front of the package.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling program conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which revealed that the finished products were potentially contaminated.