October 1, 2016

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks 2015: #6 Listeria in Cheeses

The sixth-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2015 was a Listeria outbreak linked to soft cheeses produced by Karoun Dairies Inc. Thirty people in 10 states were sickened after eating cheeses distributed by Karoun and sold under a variety of brand names.  Three people died and one woman had a miscarriage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated on the investigation of the outbreak. Together they identified five rare outbreak strains that had been causing illness since August 8, 2010. The most recent illnesses were reported during the summer of 2015. Most of those sickened reported eating Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Mediterranean, or Mexican-style cheeses, including ani, paneer, feta, Middle … [Read more...]

Karoun Cheese Listeria Outbreak Ends After Killing Three

The Listeria outbreak linked to soft cheeses produced by Karoun Dairies Inc. of San Fernando, California has ended after killing three people, sickening 27 others and causing one miscarriage. However, because some consumers may still have the recalled cheese in their refrigerators, health officials are worried that others may become sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration worked together on the investigation of the outbreak. Together they used DNA testing to identify five rare outbreak strains that sickened 30 people in 10 states over the course of five years.  The most recent illnesses were reported this summer. By state the case count was as follows: California (18), Colorado (1), Illinois (2), Massachusetts (2), … [Read more...]

FDA Finds Listeria at Plant, Links Karoun Dairies to Outbreak

FDA inspectors found Listeria at a manufacturing facility where cheese associated with a a deadly Listeria outbreak is made. Genomic testing has revealed that the strain found in samples taken from the plant closely resembles the outbreak strain in those who became ill. An outbreak associated with soft cheeses produced by Karoun Dairies, Inc. of San Fernando, California has caused 24 illnesses, one miscarriage and one fatality. The most recent illnesses were reported this summer. Then health officials used genetic testing to identify cases in nine states going back to 2010. This is similar to how the Blue Bell Listeria outbreak was discovered and investigated. Several of the case patients in  this outbreak mentioned eating Karoun cheeses before becoming ill. Investigators collected … [Read more...]

Listeria Illnesses Prompt Cheese Recall of brands Del Valle, Central Valley Creamery, Gopi, and Yanni

Karoun Dairies Inc. of San Fernando, California is recalling a variety of cheeses that have been associated with Listeria illnesses. Consumers who have purchased any of these cheeses should not eat them as Listeria can cause serious illness and death. "Listeria’s natural habitat is in the soil.  It is highly adaptable, however, and once Listeria gains a foothold in a food processing plant, it can quickly spread onto food contact surfaces and into the food itself," said Elliot Olsen, a listeria lawyer with the national food safety law firm PritzkeOlsen, which underwrites Food Poisoning Bulletin. Those at high risk of Listeria infections are young children, seniors, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women.  Among pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriages, … [Read more...]

Queseria Bendita Listeria Outbreak was Shop’s Second in 5 Years

Yakima's Queseria Bendita "Blessed Cheesemaker'' shop made Latin-style Queso Fresco, Panela, Requeson, Cotija fresh soft cheese products and sour cream that were sold on-site and in about 100 Hispanic grocery stores and other outlets in Washington and Oregon. Every one of those products was recalled last month after the Washington State Department of Health and two federal agencies associated the shop's cheeses with an outbreak that included one Listeria death. Two other people also were confirmed as case patients in the outbreak, which happened weeks before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could determine what food had caused such horrible illnesses. The three cases occurred in King, Pierce and Yakima counties; the death was in Pierce … [Read more...]

Listeria Outbreaks Linked to Soft Cheese

Listeria in Queseria Bendita cheeses has killed one person in Washington and sickened and sickened two others. A recall has been issued for the cheese made at the company’s plant in Yakima, Washington. Consumers who have purchased this cheese should not eat it as they risk serious, life-threatening illness if they do. Soft cheese is high risk food for Listeria exposure.  Here's a summary of  recent outbreaks: A November 2000 Listeria outbreak in North Carolina linked to queso fresco sickened 12 people, hospitalizing all of them. In February 2003,  Listeria in unpasteurized queso fresco, sickened 12 people in Texas, hospitalizing all and killing one of them. In June 2005, a Texas Listeria outbreak linked to queso fresco sickened 12 people, hospitalizing all of them. An August … [Read more...]

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Recalled Queseria Bendita Cheese

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Queseria Bendita cheese of Yakima, Washington has sickened at least three people. One person has died, and two people have been hospitalized in this outbreak. Those sickened consumed soft cheeses made by Queseria Bendita; those cheeses have been recalled. The cheeses were distributed to Hispanic grocery stores in Washington and Oregon. Queseria Bendita also sold products from its on-site store in Yakima. The cheeses have been recalled as a result of an investigation and samples taken by the FDA. The company has agreed to cease production and distribution of all of its products. The recalled products are Panela cheese in 1 pound packages, Queso Fresco in 1 pound and 3 pound packages, Requeson cheese in 1 pound packages, and Cotija … [Read more...]

Listeria in Queseria Bendita Cheese Sickens 3, Kills 1 in Washington

Listeria in Queseria Bendita cheese has sickened three people in Washington, killing one of them. A recall has been issued for the cheese made at the company's plant in Yakima, Washington. Consumers who have purchased this cheese should not eat it as they risk serious, life-threatening illness if they do. Washington State health and agriculture officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on an ongoing investigation of the outbreak. Queseria Bendita has suspended production of cheese. The recalled products are:  Queso Fresco, Panela, Requeson, Cotija fresh soft cheese products and Sour Cream. They were distributed to Hispanic grocery stores in Washington and Oregon and from the company's its on-site store in … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2014: #9

The Listeria outbreak linked to Roos cheeses was the ninth-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2014, based on number of people sickened, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight people in two states were sickened, one of them died. The outbreak was announced on February 21. Seven of the cases were in Maryland, the fatality was in California. Three of the victims were newborns, two mothers of the newborns were also sickened. All of the patients were Hispanic and all but one of them required hospitalization. Adults sickened in this outbreak reported eating soft or semi-soft Hispanic-style cheese before they became ill with symptoms of a Listeria infection which include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and … [Read more...]

Listeria Risk 24 Times Greater for Hispanic Pregnant Women

Two Listeria outbreaks this year illustrate how badly the odds are stacked against Hispanic pregnant women when it comes to Listeria.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant Hispanic women are 24 times more likely than the general population to get Listeria poisoning. A major factor in the increased risk is the consumption of queso fresco and other soft cheeses. All of the case patients in the two multistate Listeria outbreaks linked to soft-cheeses this year were Hispanic. Some of them were pregnant women. Some were newborns. And some of them died. Because their immune systems are suppressed, all pregnant women are at special risk for Listeria, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and listeriosis in newborns. But the risk is … [Read more...]

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