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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

E. coli HUS Outbreak: Forty Sick, CDC Says Avoid All Romaine From Salinas, CA

The CDC just posted a food safety alert, telling consumers that in the wake of the newest E. coli HUS outbreak, they should avoid buying or eating all romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region until more information is available. This is an echo of the same advice from the CDC last April, when another, deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to romaine. The advice in 2018 was to avoid all romaine lettuce until officials found the source. This newest outbreak is growing by leaps and bounds. Now 40 people in 16 states are sick. That's an increase of 23 more patients and 8 more states in just the last two days. Twenty-eight people have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage of cases. Five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On the Newest Romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak

The FDA has weighed in on the newest romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least 17 people in 8 states. If Maryland Health Department information is added to that total, there are 22 people sick. But the CDC announcement said 17 are ill because only two of the seven Maryland cases have been definitely linked to the outbreak through whole genome sequencing (WGS). This outbreak took some time to unfold. A cluster of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)  illnesses was first identified in Wisconsin last week. Then, an E. coli outbreak in Maryland was identified. The CDC and FDA put it all together, announcing the multistate STEC HUS outbreak on November 20, 2019. The outbreak has been associated with Ready Pac Bistro® Chicken Caesar Salad sold at Sam's Club in … [Read more...]

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