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Illinois cheese company issues recall

The Walnut Cheese Company is recalling mozzarella cheese products manufactured on April 21 because they might have been contaminated with an antibiotic, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a release today.

According to the release, the voluntary recall includes these products: Bulk string cheese cases with a packing date of 4-22-2011; 8-ounce string cheese packages with a sell-by date of 8-20-2011; and bulk shredded mozzarella cases with a packing date of 4-25-2011.

The products may contain beta-lactam antibiotic residues, the release said. The Illinois Department of Public Health noticed during a "routine review of the cheese plant’s drug residue screening log" that one load of raw milk was not tested.

The agency said that possible adverse reactions could include "anaphylaxis, cardiac arrhythmia, endocrine abnormalities, and cutaneous eruptions." No adverse reactions have been reported.

According to the release, the products were sold at grocery stores, pizzerias and convenience stores across the state. Products can be returned to the place of purchase for refund, and questions can be directed to the Walnut Cheese Company at 815-379-2155.

A phone call to that number resulted in a record phone message that said the company’s hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.

The company, located about 120 miles southwest of Chicago in Bureau County, was formed in 1932, and in 1964, it began to do business as Avanti Foods, according to the company website. Among its products are a variety of cheeses, pizzasand products for the pizza and restaurant industries. The website says the company does business throughout Illinois (outside the city of Chicago), southern Wisconsin, eastern Iowa, and western Indiana.

No one from the company was available to answer questions Saturday.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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