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MERKT CHEESE COMPANY REINTRODUCES COLD-PACKED CHEESE FOOD PRODUCT

 MERKT CHEESE COMPANY REINTRODUCES
 COLD-PACKED CHEESE FOOD PRODUCT
 MILWAUKEE, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Merkt Cheese Company is reintroducing its cold-packed cheese food product to grocer's shelves in 19 states, Thomas M. Merkt, president of the company said at a news conference today in Milwaukee.
 "We're pleased to announce that Merkts is back," Merkt said. "We're looking forward to a bright future for the Merkt Cheese Company."
 The reintroduction comes following a voluntary total product recall of cold packed cheese food product in early March when a Listeria bacteria was found in eight packages. State health officials and food science experts agree that Listeria poses no significant risk to people in good health, but can cause chills and fever.
 A letter from C.T. Leitzke, director of the Food Safety and Inspection Bureau for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) authorized the Merkt Cheese Company to resume sales of its cold-packed cheese food.
 "This letter will serve as authorization for Merkt Cheese Company, Inc. to resume sales of cold-packed cheese food," the letter said. "The changes instituted at Merkt's are noted and will help achieve production of cold-packed cheese food."
 In addition to the DATCP letter, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) issued a statement that praised the company for its action:
 "The recent actions by Merkt's Cheese Company have served to demonstrate that this is a company committed to ensuring consumer acceptance through manufacturing and marketing a quality product," said the WMMB statement.
 Merkt said that the new cold-packed cheese food will be identified by a new sticker which announces the company's uncompromising commitment to quality.
 He said that the company's Consumer Information Center received more than 500 phone calls praising the actions taken during the recall and inquiring as to when product would be back on the shelf.
 "Be assured I will continue to be a loyal Merkts customer," one Jacksonville, Fla., consumer said.
 "We've received a lot of support from our employees, customers and distributors," Merkt said. "I'd like to thank them all."
 Merkts cold-packed cheese food products are sold in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Vermont, California, Tennessee, Georgia, New York, Maryland and Virginia.
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas M. Merkt of Merkt Cheese Company, 414-857-2316, or 414-843-3408, after hours/ CO: Merkt Cheese Company ST: Wisconsin IN: FOD SU:


LC -- CL007 -- 6864 04/09/92 14:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 9, 1992
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