Business, Health, Sci-Tech

Listeria outbreak prompts additional product recalls



NOTTINGHAM, MD—A recent Listeria outbreak has prompted additional product recalls, according to U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

El Abuelito Recall

In addition to the products listed here, El Abuelito Cheese of Paterson, NJ is recalling all Queso Fresco (Fresh, soft cheese), Quesillo (Oaxaca, string cheese), and Requeson (Ricotta) products, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

All Queso Fresco products with sell by dates through 032821; all Quesillo (Oaxaca, string cheese) products with sell by dates through 041621; and all Requeson (Ricotta) products with sell by dates through 031421 have been recalled. The products are sold as El Abuelito Cheese brand, distributed in CT, NJ, PA, NY; Rio Grande Food Products brand, distributed in VA, NC, MD; Rio Lindo distributed in NC and MD and Viejito, El Paisano, El Sabrosito, La Cima, Quesos Finos, San Carlos, and Ideal Brands.

The products were distributed through February 16, 2021 and were available in supermarkets, wholesale, and retails stores.

The following products being recalled were produced at Plant #34-12179 in the following form. Retailers may have repackaged the bulk Quesillo into smaller containers and sold this repackage product to consumers. This repackaged product may not bear the original labeling and product information as described below.

Quesillo
Brand Product Name Size Container Type UPC Code
El Abuelito Cheese Quesillo Abuelito 12oz Vacuum Pack 673130200000
Quesillo Abuelito 5Lbs Vacuum Bag Loose Bag 673130500001
Quesillo Abuelito 10Lbs Vacuum Bag Loose Bag 673130600008
El Viejito El Viejito 10Lbs Vacuum Bag Loose Bag 718122180950
El Paisano El Paisano 5Lbs Vacuum Bag 799456415468
El Paisano 10Lbs Vacuum Bag 799456415482
El Sabrosito El Sabrosito 10Lbs Vacuum Bag 749390337586
La Cima La Cima 5Lbs Vacuum Bag 072632891653
Quesos Finos Quesos Finos 5Lbs Vacuum Bag 851800004145
San Carlos San Carlos 14Lbs Loose Bag 814920000039
Ideal Ideal 5Lbs Vacuum Bag 610563082674
Ideal 10Lbs Vacuum Bag 897930001951
Requeson/Ricotta
Brand Product Name Size Container Type UPC Code
El Abuelito Cheese, Inc. El Abuelito Requeson Ricotta 12oz Clam Shell Container 673130300014
El Abuelito Requeson Ricotta – Promocion $3.99 12oz. Clam Shell Container 673130300014
El Viejito El Viejito Requeson/Ricotta 12oz. Clam Shell Container 718122180912

As of February 27, 2021, 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 as FDA and El Abuelito continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

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. On 2/19/2021, Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory determined that the Listeria monocytogenes found in the samples is a match to the outbreak strain.

Consumers who have purchased the stated Queso Fresco, Quesillo (Oaxaca, string cheese), and Requeson (Ricotta) products are urged not to consume and to return product to the place of purchase for a full refund. FDA recommends that anyone who purchased or received any El Abuelito brand Quesillo, Requeson, or recalled Queso Fresco cheeses 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. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces. Consumers with questions may contact El Abuelito Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST at (973) 345-3503.

J&J Distributing Recall

In addition, J&J Distributing of St. Paul, MN, is recalling multiple products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recalled products follow:

Brand / Retailer DESCRIPTION UPC Code Date
Haug Taco Tray 16 oz 6-10014-16383-9 3-Mar
Haug Mini 7 Layer Dip Tray 22 oz 6-10014-16414-0 3-Mar
Haug Taco Tray 16 oz 6-10014-16415-7 3-Mar
Haug Taco Tray 29 oz 6-10014-16416-4 3-Mar
Fresh Thyme Taco Dip 10oz 8-41330-12368 3-Mar
Tastebuds Layered Fiesta Taco Dip 9 oz 0-38232-31611-8 3-Mar
Tastebuds Taco Platter 26 oz 0-38232-31683-5 3-Mar
Tastebuds Taco Platter 15.8 oz 0-38232-33235-4 3-Mar
Tastebuds Taco Dip 9 oz 0-38232-31612-5 3-Mar
Earthgrown Mini Taco Dip 6-10014-22341-0 3-Mar
Caribou Turkey Sandwich 9 oz 7-98493-17447-5 26-Feb
Kwik Trip Taco Dip 8oz 0-38232-36091-3 3-Mar
Kwik Trip Taco Dip 15.8oz 0-38232-36090-6 3-Mar

The recalled products were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the company revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a utensil used to produce the products.

Consumers who have purchased any of the affected products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 651-221-0560, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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