If trips to Panera Bread are the highlight of your day, then you're not alone. Unfortunately, fans of the fast-casual restaurant will need to order their bagels sans cream cheese due to a recall. The popular chain announced that they're acting "out of an abundance of caution" after some of their (super delicious!) cream cheese products tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. But, what does that mean for customers?
Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is defined as "the species of pathogenic bacteria that cause the infection listeriosis. It is a facultative anaerobic bacterium, capable of surviving in the presence or absence of oxygen. It can grow and reproduce inside the host's cells and is one of the most virulent foodborne pathogens, with 20 to 30 percent of foodborne listeriosis infections in high-risk individuals may be fatal." Fatal?!
Since the bacteria can be extremely dangerous — especially for pregnant women and their unborn children — it's probably a good idea that Panera decided to stop selling it for a limited time. Of course, that doesn't mean the Internet isn't having a lot of feelings about it. One customer tweeted, "Damn Panera Bread is recalling their cream cheese due to listeria... I was so close to grabbing a bagel from there this morning." Another added, "I will say, watching the reactions of people as the @panerabread cashiers repeat over and over 'no cream cheese' is how I think the apocalypse begins..."
As of now, customers will need to wait until Panera feels like the threat is over. "The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the US with an active shelf life," Panera President and CEO Blaine Hurst said in a press release. "Only one variety of 2 ounce cream cheese from a single day yielded the positive result. Our intent is to go above and beyond for our guests. You should expect nothing less from Panera."