Whole Foods Market is voluntarily recalling a cheese product that contains an allergen that’s not declared on the label. It was sold in three states.
The affected Zerto Fontal cheese products contain egg lysozyme, which is an egg white protein, according to the company announcement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. However, its presence is not indicated in the products’ labels.
People who are allergic to eggs can get an allergic reaction when they consume egg proteins because their bodies see it as a “foreign invader,” thus releasing chemicals to defend the body against it, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) explained.
Egg is actually one of the most common food allergens, and reactions may range from mild to “life-threatening” anaphylaxis. While avoiding eggs is said to be the “best way” to manage an egg allergy, it’s not always an easy task as egg is often a hidden ingredient in many food items, such as salad dressings and canned soup.
“The stakes are high,” the ACAAI noted. This is why it’s important for those with an egg allergy to be vigilant in checking food labels.
“People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to eggs run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products,” the company noted.
According to the announcement, the problem was discovered after a customer filed a “complaint of illness.”
The affected Zerto Fontal cheese products have the code 20565300000 and sell-by date from Sept. 21, 2022, to Oct. 20, 2022. The recalled products were sold in 54 Whole Foods Market locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from Sept. 21 to 29.
The cheeses were packed “by the slice” and would have been found in the Specialty department, the announcement noted. A photo of what the labeling may have looked like is available on the FDA website.
“All affected product has been removed from store shelves,” the announcement noted. “Customers who purchased this product at Whole Foods Market can bring a valid receipt into stores for a full refund.”
Those who have questions about the recall may contact the company at 1-844-936-8255.