February 25, 2021

CDC: Do Not Eat El Abuelito Cheese For Possible Listeria Contamination

The CDC is joining the FDA in warning the public: do not eat El Abuelito cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The cheese is linked, through whole genome sequencing testing, to the outbreak strain of Listeria that has sickened ten people in four states. Earlier this month Connecticut officials found the outbreak strain of Listeria in samples of El Abuelito queso fresco cheese that was taken from a store where an ill person bought that cheese. The government says that other El Abuelito cheeses that were made or handled in the same facility as the queso fresco cheese have not been recalled, but officials are concerned that they may be contaminated and could make people sick. Investigators are trying to determine whether or not all cheese products … [Read more...]

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." 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 … [Read more...]

El Abuelito Cheese Listeria Sample Matches Outbreak Strain

The El Abuelito cheese Listeria monocytogenes sample matches the outbreak strain, according to a notice from the FDA. The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected product samples of that cheese where a sick person who lives in that state bought cheeses. Sample analysis found the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in samples of El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese that was sold in 10 ounce packages, marked as Lot A027 with an expiration date of 02/26/2021. On February 19, 2021, whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis that was conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory found that the Listeria monocytogenes found in the samples is a match to the outbreak strain. On February 19, 2021, El Abuelito Cheese of Paterson, New Jersey recalled all Queso Fresco products with "sell by" … [Read more...]

NY Dunkin Donuts Hepatitis A Employee Worked While Infectious

In Schuyler County, New York, a Dunkin Donuts hepatitis A employee worked while infectious, according to a press release by the Chemung County Health Department. An investigation has been launched because that person worked at two area Dunkin Donuts locations. The two locations are at the Dunkin Donuts shop on Corning Road (Miracle Mile) in Elmira Heights and at the Walmart store on County Road 64 in Horseheads, where the person worked for one day. The establishments have been notified by the health department of the potential exposure. The employe has not worked since February 11, 2021. The health department is also asking the managers of those locations to send any staff reporting hepatitis A symptoms for medical evaluations before they to ack to work. Employees of the … [Read more...]

Canada Salmonella Egg Outbreak Sickens 57 in Two Provinces

A Canada Salmonella egg outbreak has sickened at least 57 people in two provinces in that country, according to an outbreak investigation notice posted by Public Health Canada. Food recall warnings were issued for eggs sold in those provinces between October and December 2020. All of those eggs are past their use by dates, but more sources could be identified as the investigation processes. The patient case count by province is: Newfoundland and aerator (25) and Nova Scotia (32). Illness onset dates range from late October 2020 and late January 2021. Nineteen patients have been hospitalized because they are so sick, which is a high percentage for a Salmonella outbreak. The patient age range is between 2 and 98 years of age. Investigators have found that exposure to eggs is the … [Read more...]

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. 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 … [Read more...]

El Abuelito Cheese Listeria Warning Letter Sent by FDA in June 2020

An El Abuelito Cheese Listeria warning letter was sent to the company by the FDA in June, 2020. This is the brand that may be associated with the current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Hispanic-style soft and fresh cheeses that has sickened seven people in four states, according to testing conducted by the Connecticut Department of Health. The letter states that after an FDA inspection, a Form FDA-483 was issued that found the facility was not in compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (CGMP & PC). Government officials found "serious violations" of the CGMP & PC rule, according to the El Abuelito Cheese Listeria warning letter, because the owner, operator, or agent in … [Read more...]

Connecticut Warns of Listeria in El Abuelito Queso Fresco Cheese; One Ill

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is warning consumers that there is Listeria in El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese. Laboratory testing found the pathogen in one lot of that cheese that was collected from a Connecticut retail food store last week. One Connecticut resident is sick after allegedly eating that brand. There is a multistate Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is linked to Hispanic-style soft and fresh cheeses that the FDA and CDC announced late last week. Seven people in four states are sick in that outbreak; one of the patients lives in Connecticut. The others live in Maryland (4), New York (1), and Virginia (1). Connecticut Department of Health officials are advising consumers not to eat any El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese until further notice. And also … [Read more...]

CDC Health Advisory For Extensively Drug-Resistant Salmonella Typhi

A CDC health advisory for extensively drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi infections has been issued by the Health Alert Network (HAN). These types of infections are usually associated with international travel, but as of January 14, 2021, the government has received 71 reports of these infections in the United States; not all had left the country before getting sick. While most of those patients had traveled, nine, or 13% of the total, had not traveled to any country before they got sick. Salmonella typhi is transmitted through contaminated food and water and through person to person contact. In 2016, a large outbreak of extensively drug-resistant Salmonella typhi infections started in the Sindh province, Pakistan. Typhi strains are resistant to antibiotics that are usually … [Read more...]

Unsanitary Conditions of Soft Cheese Making Linked to Listeria Outbreaks

In the wake of the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is linked to Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses, it's worth looking at a 2018 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that examined listeriosis outbreaks associated with soft cheeses from 1998 to 2014. The study, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, showed that unsanitary conditions of soft cheese making was linked to listeriosis outbreaks. The number of listeriosis outbreaks associated with cheese produced under unsanitary conditions has increased since 2006. Moreover, two-thirds of those outbreaks were linked to "Latin-style soft cheese," accounting for 98, or 54%, of the cases of listeriosis during that time frame. FDA inspections of cheese-making facilities associated with outbreaks … [Read more...]

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