February 27, 2021

El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson Cheese Recalled in Listeria Outbreak

The FDA and CDC are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to El Abuelito queso fresco cheese. As part of this investigation and after an on-site inspection, the government is now recommending that consumers avoid El Abuelito Quesillo and Requeson cheese as well. El Abuelito Quesillo (Oxaca, string cheese), and Requeson (Ricotta) cheeses are manufactured or handled in the same facility as the Queso Fresco products that are linked through whole genome sequencing to this outbreak. This recommendation does not include any additional products with the El Abuelito brand because they are not manufactured or handled in the same facility. This includes El Abuelito Meat, Panela cheese, cotija cheese, mole, crema centroamericana, and crema … [Read more...]

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...]

Four Sick in Maryland’s Soft Cheese Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

Four people are sick in Maryland's soft cheese Listeria monocytogenes outbreak announced late last week by the FDA and the CDC. That state has the most patients sickened in the current outbreak. The other states involved in this outbreak have one person sick in each.   The outbreak is potentially linked to Hispanic-style soft and fresh cheeses, according to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control. An investigation has been launched and officials are collecting samples of cheese from stores where ill persons shopped before they got sick. Of four people who have been interviewed, three said they ate at least one type of Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheese, and al three said they ate queso fresco. These types of cheeses have a history of being linked to … [Read more...]

History of Soft Cheese Linked Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks

With the news that the CDC and FDA have launched an investigation into a possible Hispanic-style soft cheese listeriosis outbreak late last week, the history of soft cheese linked Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks comes into focus. Seven people in four states are sick, including Maryland, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia. This is not the first time a deadly outbreak has been linked to those types of soft and fresh cheeses. These types of cheeses have long been a risk for Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to the CDC. The issue is that many of these soft and fresh cheeses are made with unpasteurized milk. The government estimates that "the risk for listeriosis per serving is estimated to be 50- to 160-fold greater for cheese made from unpasteurized milk than … [Read more...]

New Listeria Outbreak Associated With Hispanic-Style Fresh Soft Cheeses

A new Listeria outbreak has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses have allegedly sickened seven people in four states as of February 11, 2021. No recall has been issued yet. The patient case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Maryland (4), New York (1), and Virginia (1). All seven patients have been hospitalized because they are so sick. No one has died. Illness onset dates range from October 20, 2020 to January 22, 2021. Six of those sickened got sick in 2021. The patient age range is from 45 to 75 years. Six of those sickened are of Hispanic origin. State and local public health officials are interviewing people about what they ate during the month before they started feeling sick. Of the four people who … [Read more...]

History of E. coli O145 Outbreaks in the United States

There are three active multistate food poisoning outbreaks on the USDA outbreak table: One is for an outbreak caused by Listeria monocytogenes, one caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, and one caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O145 bacteria. The last one may be linked to ground beef. Let's look at the history of E. coli O145 outbreaks. What is the history of E. coli O145 outbreaks in the United States? This pathogen is part of the Big Six STEC bacteria group that the USDA classified as adulterants back in 2011, and started testing for the bacteria as part of a zero tolerance policy in 2012, but it has not been linked to many outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a multistate outbreak caused by E. coli O145 bacteria in … [Read more...]

Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Second Highest in Nation

The Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which is part of the national outbreak the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday, is the second highest in the nation with five out of sixteen total sick. Officials are concerned about this outbreak because of fast growth and a high hospitalization rate of 56%. That is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for the average E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. In addition, three people have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. That rate of 19% is also much higher than the average 4% rate of HUS development in E. coli outbreaks. The CDC is warning people that if they have severe symptoms of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak they should immediately … [Read more...]

Six in Arkansas Sick in Deadly Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

Arkansas is hard hit in the deadly mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was announced yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people are sick in Arkansas, out of 16 in the entire country. This outbreak is unusual because the CDC investigation notice stated that the agency is concerned about the growing number of severe illnesses. Nine of the sixteen patients have been hospitalized for a rate of 56%; that is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for this type of outbreak. And three of those patients have been diagnosed with HUS, a type of kidney failure. There is no information about what food may have caused this outbreak; we also do not know if any restaurant or supermarket is involved. E. coli outbreaks in the past have been … [Read more...]

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