May 24, 2024

Listeria Outbreak in Rhode Island Prompts Warning of Raw Cheese

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has sickened two people in Rhode Island, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. This outbreak has prompted officials to issue a health warning about unpasteurized queso fresco (Mexican cheese). Queso fresco is a type of soft Mexican cheese. All cheeses, including Queso fresco, queso blanco, panela, and asadero-style cheeses are only considered safe when they are marked with a professional label stating that they are "pasteurized" or "made from pasteurized milk." Homemade queso fresco is sometimes made with raw milk. Raw milk can be contaminated with pathogens that can cause serious illness. The pasteurization process kills pathogenic bacteria. The warning especially applies to pregnant women, who can suffer serious complications … [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 monocytogenes exposure. If the soft cheese is made from unpasteurized, or raw, milk, the risk is even higher. Here's a summary of some recent listeriosis 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 patient. In June … [Read more...]

Salmonella in Unpasteurized Cheese Sickens Dozens in MN

At least 25 people in Minnesota have contracted Salmonella infections from unpasteurized Mexican-style cheese or, raw queso fresco, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Fifteen of them were hospitalized and have been released. During interviews with health officials, many case patients reported eating raw queso fresco that they purchased or received from someone who made it in a private home. The cheesemaker made home deliveries and also may have sold the cheese on a corner near East Lake Street in Minneapolis. Anyone who has this cheese should not eat it. Lab tests confirm that 18 of the case patients were all sickened by the same strain of Salmonella. Seven other people who had contact with them are probable cases as lab tests were not available for them. Health … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Launches Search For Rogue Cheesemaker

A few years ago in Utah, people started getting sick with Salmonella poisoning from unpasteurized cheese. Some of them bought it from a deli, some of them got it from a woman in a parking lot, but lab tests showed all of the illnesses came from the same source. After a three-year investigation, Utah health authorities found the source- a man dubbed “Mr.Cheese,” who managed to sicken 2,100 people with his homemade queso fresco before being apprehended. This week in Minnesota, health authorities announced that 13 people had contracted Salmonella poisoning from cheese made with raw milk, eight of whom were so sick they were hospitalized. Now, health authorities are searching for the cheesemaker who, like Mr. Cheese, made the product in a private residence, without a license and without … [Read more...]

Queso Fresco Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 13 in Minnesota

Salmonella in unpasteurized Mexican-style cheese called queso fresco has sickened at least 13 people in Minnesota who all got it from the same private home, according to state health officials. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and health officials from the City of Minneapolis are investigating the outbreak and searching for the source of the raw milk used to make the cheese. The sale of raw milk is not legal in Minnesota unless it is purchased on the farm where it was produced. Eleven people were diagnosed with confirmed cases of infection from the same strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. Eight of them were hospitalized.  Additional illnesses, among family members of those with confirmed cases, were also reported but not confirmed … [Read more...]

Listeria Contamination Prompts Expanded Recall Of Mexicali Cheese

Problems persist at Mexicali Cheese Corp. where Listeria contamination has prompted an expanded recall of cheese products, according to the New York State Department  of Agriculture (NYDA). On July 2, the NYDA announced an expansion of a recall that was issued June 29 after  Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in cheese samples taken during routine inspection. There are now four cheeses under recall for possible Listeria contamination: Mexicali Queso Fresco Mexicano, Mexican Style Fresh Cheese; Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese; Mi Quesito Mexicano, Mexican Cheese; and Quesillo Ecuatoriano, Ecuadorian Style Cheese. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. Pregnant women are among those who are most susceptible, although they may only experience … [Read more...]

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