El Abuelito Cheese is recalling certain types of cheese and cheese products for fear of potential contamination with Listeria Monocytogenes, a deadly bacteria, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration said in a statement.
The recall involves Queso Fresco (Fresh, soft cheese), Quesillo (Oaxaca, string cheese), and Requeson (Ricotta) products that were distributed through February 16, 2021 and were available in supermarkets, wholesale, and retails stores.
All Queso Fresco products with sell by dates through March 28, 2021, all Quesillo products with sell by dates through April 16, 2021 and all Requeson products with sell by dates through March 14, 2021 have been recalled.
These products were sold as El Abuelito Cheese brand, Rio Grande Food Products brand, Rio Lindo, Viejito, El Paisano, El Sabrosito, La Cima, Quesos Finos, San Carlos, and Ideal Brands.
These products were produced at a plant and retailers may have repackaged the original bulk packaging of these products into smaller containers and sold this repackaged product to consumers.
As of Saturday, the CDC reports ten people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes from four states.
El Abuelito has ceased the production and distribution of the product. The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to queso fresco cheeses made by El Abuelito Cheese, Inc.
As part of this outbreak investigation, the Connecticut Department of Public Health collected product samples of El Abuelito-brand Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses from a store where a sick person bought cheeses.
The analysis conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory determined that the Listeria monocytogenes found in the samples is a match to the outbreak strain.
The company has urged consumers who have purchased these products to stop consuming the products and to return product to the place of purchase for a full refund. The FDA warned to use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Consuming food contaminated with listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
The symptoms of listeriosis include, fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea.
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