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Listeria outbreak investigation leads to recall of Queso-style soft cheeses

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A New Jersey company is recalling 17 soft cheese products sold under three brands because it has been linked to an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections that has hospitalized at least seven people.

There are concerns that consumers will have the cheese recalled home because it has not yet reached its February 26 expiration date.

El Abuelito Cheese from Paterson, NJ, is recalling all Queso Fresco products (fresh and soft cheese) as the Connecticut Department of Public Health collected samples of Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheese products from the company in a store where an epidemic patient bought cheeses. Analysis of the samples showed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the company’s recall notice issued by the Food and Drug Administration.

El Abuelito has ceased production and distribution of the product as the FDA and El Abuelito continue to investigate the cause of the problem, according to the recall notice.

For a complete list of the recalled products, please see the table below. For photos of the recalled products not listed on this page, please click here. All of the recalled products were manufactured at Plant No. 34-12179.

El Abuelito sent the cheese involved to several states, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. The company distributed the recalled cheeses until February 16. The cheese was available to wholesalers, supermarkets and other retail stores.

As of the latest update on the outbreak from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven people have been confirmed as epidemic patients. All required hospitalization. They are spread across four states, New York, Connecticut, Virginia and Maryland.

Samples are currently undergoing whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis to determine if Listeria monocytogenes found in these samples matches the strain of the outbreak. At present, there is not enough evidence to determine whether this outbreak is linked to El Abuelito Queso Fresco, according to the recall notice.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled Queso Fresco products are urged not to consume and return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions can contact El Abuelito 973-345-3503 directly.

To determine if they have recalled cheese in their homes, consumers can use the following information on the label.

Mark

Product Name

Cut

Container type

UPC Code

Grandfather cheese

Regular fresh cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

673130100003

Promotion of fresh cheese

10 oz.

A plastic container

673130100078

Fresh leaf cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

673130100065

Cream cheese

5 pounds

Vacuum packed

673130100058

Guatemala fresh cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

673130100027

Rio Grande Food Products, Inc.

Chirilagua farm cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

738529005571

Fresh country cheese with leaf

14 ounces

A plastic container

812324031161

Fresh artisan cheese

14 ounces

A plastic container

738529002518

Fresh cheese with foil

14 ounces

A plastic container

738529004581

Yorito fresh cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

738529005564

Olancho fresh cheese

14 ounces

A plastic container

812324031222

Guatemalan fresh curd

12 ounces

A plastic container

738529001276

Honduran fresh curd

12 ounces

A plastic container

738529001269

Fresh Salvadoran curd

12 ounces

A plastic container

738529001252

Rio lindo

Fresh mexican cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

718122088587

Honduran fresh cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

718122088591

Salvadoreo fresh cheese

12 ounces

A plastic container

718122088607

About Listeria infections
Foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell altered, but can still cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. Anyone who has eaten a recalled cheese and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should see a doctor and inform their doctor of the possible exposure to Listeria.

In addition, anyone who has consumed any of the recalled products should monitor themselves for symptoms over the next several weeks, as it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms to occur. listeriosis develop.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle pain, severe headache, and stiff neck. Specific lab tests are needed to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are especially at risk for serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women only have mild flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature labor, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

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