The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have announced a significant recall of queso fresco and cotija cheese, due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
The recall affects brands such as Campesino, Casa Cardenas, Don Francisco, Don Pancho, Dos Ranchitos, El Huache, Food City, H-E-B, La Ordena, Rio Grande, Rizo Bros, Rojos, San Carlos, Santa Maria, Tio Francisco, Trader Joe’s and 365 Whole Foods Market. Additionally, all products from Rizo Lopez Foods Inc., including sour creams, yogurts and cheeses, are advised to be discarded.
This recall is national in scope and is an ongoing situation. The CDC has reported that at least 23 individuals have been hospitalized, and two fatalities have occurred as a result of this contamination. Over 60 products are currently listed on the CDC’s website, urging consumers to review and dispose of any potentially contaminated items in their possession.
The public is also advised to clean and sanitize any surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled products and to avoid patronizing restaurants that may still be serving them.
Listeria monocytogenes is known to cause serious infections, typically manifesting within two weeks of consuming contaminated food, but symptoms can appear as early as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after ingestion. Symptoms range from mild, such as fever, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue, to severe, including stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. Pregnant women and individuals over the age of 65 are particularly at risk, as the infection is more likely to spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
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