September 24, 2021

CDC Updates Hispanic Style Cheese Listeria Outbreak Investigation

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Hispanic style cheese Listeria outbreak investigation with new information from the Connecticut Department of Health. On February 16, 2021, Connecticut officials found Listeria in samples of El Albuelito queso fresco cheese that was collected from a store where a patient diagnosed with listeriosis shopped.

CDC Updates Hispanic Style Cheese Listeria Outbreak Investigation

Investigators are working to confirmed that the Listeria bacteria found in this queso fresco cheese is the same pathogen that is making people sick. They are using whole genome sequencing (WGS) that maps the DNA of the bacteria. The results should be known soon.

The case count still stands at seven sick. Those people live in Maryland (4), Connecticut (1), New York (1), and Virginia (1). All seven patients have been hospitalized because they are so sick.

The CDC notice states that no one should eat any El Albuelito brand queso fresco cheese until more is known. And people who are at a higher risk for severe Listeria illness, do not eat any Hispanic-style free and soft cheeses, such as queso fresco, queso blanco, and queso panela, including any El Albuelito brand queso fresco cheese, until officials identify which cheeses are making people sick in this outbreak. Higher risk people include the elderly, pregnant women, and people who have a weakened immune system because of certain medical conditions or treatments.

There may be more brands involved in this outbreak as the investigation continues. So if you are going to buy any other Hispanic style fresh and soft cheeses, make sure that the labels say “Made with pasteurized milk.”¬†However, you should be aware that Hispanic-style soft cheeses that were made with pasteurized milk have caused Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks in the past. Pasteurization kills the pathogen, but the cheeses can still be contaminated if they are produced in facilities with unsanitary conditions.

The symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by the pathogen, include a high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. But the symptoms are different for pregnant women, who feel like they have a mild case of the flu. Unfortunately, this infection can cause miscarriage, premature labor, and stillbirth. If you or anyone you know has eaten soft fresh cheese and has been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. You may be part of this Hispanic style cheese Listeria outbreak.

The Food Poisoning Attorneys At Pritzker Hageman 1-888-377-8900

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Listeria monocytogenes infection after eating Hispanic-style soft fresh cheese, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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