Here's What You Need To Know About Whole Foods' Cheese Recall

It's been a rough few months for cheese lovers. We were told to check the cheese drawer for a food recall back in June, when 92 cheeses from Paris Brothers, Inc. were recalled because of a possible listeria contamination. More recently, Old Europe Cheese, Inc., issued a recall of its Brie and Camembert products, sold at major grocers like Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer, Stop & Shop, and more, also due to listeria contamination concerns (via CNN).

Now, we've been hit with yet another cheese recall. Whole Foods Market just announced that it's recalling Zerto Fontal cheese at more than 50 stores in the northeast (via FDA). The cheese in question has a product code of 20565300000, and was available to be purchased between September 21 and September 29, 2022.

The recall was initiated when a customer fell ill after consuming the cheese, and though one might understandably jump to "listeria!" as being the cause for yet another cheese recall, the reason for Zerto Fontal's pull from shelves is a little less expected.

Zerto Fontal contained undisclosed egg products

The reason Whole Foods is recalling Zerto Fontal cheese is that there is a labeling issue that could be dangerous to those with egg allergies or sensitivities (via FDA). It turns out the cheese contains an egg white protein called egg lysozyme. However, the label does not list egg lysozyme on the ingredient list or declare that the cheese contains an egg allergen.

Egg lysozyme has antibacterial properties, and is added during cheesemaking to combat Clostridium bacteria which can distort the flavor of cheese (via Egg Innovations and Strategies for Improvements). Though some studies with small sample sizes have found that eating egg lysozyme added to cheese is safe for those with egg allergies (via Journal of the American College of Nutrition), one customer did report falling ill after consuming the recalled Whole Foods cheese.

Because the undisclosed egg additive could potentially cause a severe or life-threatening reaction in those with egg allergies (per FDA), Whole Foods has removed the mislabeled product, and is offering refunds to those who purchased the cheese with a valid receipt.