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CDC: Listeria outbreak tied to Hispanic-style fresh, soft cheeses

UPDATE: This recall has been expanded to include additional products.

Original story below…

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BALTIMORE, MD—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked a Listeria outbreak to various Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses.

On Tuesday, February 16, Connecticut officials found Listeria in samples of El Albuelito brand queso fresco cheese collected from a store where a sick person bought Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses. Investigators are working to confirm if the Listeria bacteria found in this queso fresco is the same bacteria making people sick in this outbreak.

The product that tested positive for Listeria originates from El Abuelito, a cheese manufacturer in Paterson, New Jersey, and sold as a fresh 10-ounce item packaged in a plastic container with a sticker with a lot number of A027 and a date of February 26, 2021. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems.

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Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and fetal infection among pregnant women.

Customers and food establishments who still have the product should not consume or serve it and should discard it immediately.

Restaurants and retailers that serve or sell Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses should follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice.

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