January 16, 2018

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Recalled Queseria Bendita Cheese

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Queseria Bendita cheese of Yakima, Washington has sickened at least three people. One person has died, and two people have been hospitalized in this outbreak. Those sickened consumed soft cheeses made by Queseria Bendita; those cheeses have been recalled.

Queseria Bendita Listeria Outbreak Cheese Recall

The cheeses were distributed to Hispanic grocery stores in Washington and Oregon. Queseria Bendita also sold products from its on-site store in Yakima. The cheeses have been recalled as a result of an investigation and samples taken by the FDA. The company has agreed to cease production and distribution of all of its products.

 

The recalled products are Panela cheese in 1 pound packages, Queso Fresco in 1 pound and 3 pound packages, Requeson cheese in 1 pound packages, and Cotija Cheese in 1 pound packages. Sour cream (Crema Agria) in 1 pound packages has also been recalled. You can see the UPC numbers and best by dates of these recalled products at the FDA web site.  And you can see pictures of product labels at the FDA site as well.

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened by this pathogenic bacteria, said, “Since Listeria infections can be so serious and deadly, it’s critical that any food manufacturer always follow strict food safety guidelines. Products such as soft cheeses can be particularly vulnerable to this pathogenic bacteria, as evidenced by this outbreak.”

If you purchased any of these products, do not eat them. Discard in a double bag or return to the place of purchase for a refund. After you handle these items, wash your hands well with soap and water. Then clean out the refrigerator with a mild bleach solution to kill any remaining bacteria. Listeria bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures.

If you ate any of these recalled products, you must monitor yourself for the symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, for the next 70 days. It can take that long for symptoms to appear after exposure. The symptoms of this type of food poisoning include flu-like fever and muscle aches, upset stomach, diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, and confusion. Pregnant women may only have a mild flu-like illness, but listeriosis can cause infection in the newborn baby, stillbirth, and miscarriage. If you do get sick, see your doctor immediately. If caught early, listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics.

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