July 30, 2021

FDA Warns Against All El Abuelito Cheese In Listeria Outbreak Investigation

The FDA warns against all El Abuelito cheese in the most current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigation notice that was posted today. The notice states, “Out of an abundance of caution, and due to the severity of Listeria infection, the FDA is expanding its warning to include all El Abuelito brand cheeses until more information is known. According to the firm’s website, this includes queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese, cotija cheese, and crema.”

FDA Warns Against All El Abuelito Cheese In Listeria Outbreak Investigation

Whole genome sequencing has linked El Abuelito queso fresco cheese to the outbreak. On February 19, 2021, tests conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory determined that the Listeria monocytogenes found in a sample of the cheese purchased at a grocery store in that state is a match to the outbreak strain.

El Abuelito Cheese recalled its queso fresco products with sell by dates through March 28, 2021 on that same day (you can read a recall notice in Spanish at the FDA web site). This advisory to avoid all El Abuelito cheeses until more information is known is new. The FDA is working with the company to recall any more products that may be contaminated, and has started an on-site inspection of the company’s production facility.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients in Listeria lawsuits over the years, said, “It’s good that the government has identified the outbreak strain in El Abuelito queso fresco, and that a recall has been initiated. Even though the outbreak has grown in the last few weeks, we hope it will be slowed or stopped.”

Consumers restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any El Abuelito cheese, including, but not listed to, the recalled cheeses. And they shouldn’t eat, sell, or serve any recalled Rio Grande and Rio Lindo brand queso fresco cheeses. The cheeses were definitely distributed in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, but may have been distributed to more states.

If you have purchased or received any El Abuelito brand cheese or recalled products, be very careful to clean and sanitize any surfaces and containers that may have come into contact with these products to avoid cross-contamination. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning.

The patient case count has increased to 10, with 9 hospitalizations. The case count by state is: Maryland (4), Connecticut (1), New York (4), and Virginia (1). The last illness onset date was February 9, 2021.

Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogen, include stiff neck, high fever, severe headache, nausea, and diarrhea.  In pregnant women, symptoms mimic a mild case of the flu, but this infection can cause stillbirth and miscarriage. If you ate any of the El Abuelito cheese products in the last 70 days and have been experiencing these symptoms, see 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 El Abuelito cheeses, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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