July 24, 2021

El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson Cheeses Recalled For Listeria Risk

El Abuelito is expanding its recall of queso fresco cheeses on February 19, 2021 to include El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson cheeses in addition to recalling all Queso Fresco products for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Queso fresco is fresh, soft cheese; Quesillo is Oaxaca and string cheese; and Requeson is ricotta.

El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson Cheeses Recalled For Listeria Risk

There is a multistate Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has sickened at least 10 people in four states that is linked to some El Abuelito queso fresco cheese products through whole genome sequencing conducted by the Connecticut Department of Health. Nine of those patients have been hospitalized, and two of the illnesses are pregnancy-related.

All Queso Fresco products with sell by dates through March 28, 2021 (032821); all Quesillo products with sell by dates through April 16, 2021 (041621) and all Requeson products with sell by dates through March 14, 2021 (031421) are recalled.  The products are sold as El Abuelito Cheese brand, which were distributed in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York; Rio Grande Food Products brand, which were distributed in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland; Rio Lindo brand, which were distributed in North Carolina and Maryland; and the brands Viejito, El Paisano, El Sabrosito, La Cima, Quesos Finos, San Carlos, and Ideal.

These products were distributed to stores through February 16, 2021 and were available for purchase in supermarkets, wholesale, and retail stores. The FDA has released a retail distribution list for stores that may have sold these products. This list may not include all stores that sold these items, or may include stores that didn’t receive the products. It’s important that you ask your retailer if the store you patronize carried these products if you aren’t sure.

These El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson and Queso Fresco products were produced at Plant #34-12179. Retailers may have packaged the bulk Quesillo into smaller containers and sold this repackaged product to consumers, which may not have the original labeling and product information. Again, ask if you aren’t sure whether or not you purchased one of those products.

You can see the long list of recalled products, along with package sizes, container types, and UPC numbers, at the FDA web site. El Abuelito has stopped production and distribution of products as the FDA and the company investigate the problem.

Anyone who purchased any of these recalled products is urged not to eat it. You can throw it away after first double bagging it. Place the product in a secure garbage can with a tight fitting lid. Or take the product back to the store where you bought it for a full refund.

After you discard the cheese, clean your refrigerator with a mild bleach solution to kill any remaining bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes can grow at refrigerator temperatures and freezing doesn’t kill this pathogen. It also can gain a foothold and spread in the environment. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning and after handling the recalled products.

If you ate any of the recalled El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson and Queso Fresco cheeses, monitor your health for the symptoms of listeriosis for the next 70 days; that’s how long the incubation period can be. Symptoms of listeriosis can include a high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Pregnant women can suffer miscarriage and stillbirth if they contract this illness, even though their illness is mild and seems like the flu. If you do get sick, call your doctor.

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 recalled El Abuelito products, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

 

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