September 26, 2016

FDA Updates Investigation of Roos Cheese Listeria Outbreak

The FDA has updated its investigation and criminal charges against Roos Foods Inc. in association with the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to the company's cheeses. On Friday, January 22, 2016, the Department of Justice filed criminal information in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, charging the company with "the distribution of adulterated cheese in interstate commerce." The company has signed a plea agreement in which it has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Roos and its principals, Ana A. Roos and Virginia Mejia, agreed to a proposed consent decree of permanent injunction. A multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to Hispanic-style cheese products made and distributed by Roos Foods of Kenton, … [Read more...]

Dairy Products are Most Common Source of Listeria Outbreaks

Dairy products were the most common source of Listeria outbreaks that occurred between 1998 and 2012, according to a new federal study by the Food Safety Analytics Collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The study was conducted to provide information that can be used to develop better food poisoning prevention measures. Of the 952 outbreaks attributed to one pathogen during the 14-year study period, 24 were Listeria outbreaks. Dairy products were the source of half them. Turkey was the source of four; pork and sprouts each caused two; and beef, chicken, fruit and row crop vegetables each caused one. The fruit outbreak, the cantaloupe Listeria outbreak of 2011, sickened 147 … [Read more...]

Roos Foods Queso Listeria Threat Was Halted by Crucial Findings

Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware, lost its FDA approval to sell soft cheese and other products after Queso Fresco was linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak in 2013 that harmed eight people, including three babies. The queso fresco Listeria death occurred in California while all other illnesses were among Hispanics in Maryland. After inspection in early 2014, federal officials cited gaping roof leaks, rusting surfaces and dirty equipment among the reasons for the action. They reported detecting "widespread and persistent" Listeria contamination in the processing facility. Health officials in Maryland and Virginia started seeing the connection to Roos months after people fell ill from August through November, 2013. On February 19, 2014, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene … [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...]

Two 2014 Deadly Listeria Outbreaks Linked to Soft Cheeses

Listeria in soft cheese has been the source of two deadly multistate food poisoning outbreaks so far this year. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a three-state outbreak linked to Oasis cheeses that killed one person and sickened two others.  And, in March, an outbreak linked to Roos Cheese sickened eight people in Maryland and California, killing one of them. Soft cheeses, such as queso fresco, are often associated with Listeria monocytogenes which can grow in at room temperature and in refrigerator temperatures. Pregnant women are at special risk for Listeria, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and listeriosis in newborns. In the Oasis outbreak, one illness was related to a pregnancy and was diagnosed in a newborn. The … [Read more...]

FDA’s Anti-Listeria Enforcement Lingers at Roos Foods Cheese Plant

The Maryland queso Listeria outbreak that also killed a person in California is over as stated by the CDC, but a related suspension order at the Roos Foods plant in Delaware will stay in effect until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration vacates the order, a public affairs official for the FDA's Investigations Branch in Philadelphia said. "Until the FDA vacates the suspension order, the facility may not introduce food into commerce,'' the FDA's JuliAnn Putnam told Food Poisoning Bulletin. For the FDA to vacate the suspension order, made on March 11, the agency would have to "make a determination that food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by the facility no longer has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences,'' Putnam said. Such a determination … [Read more...]

Roos Listeria Outbreak in Maryland Only the Latest From Queso

Cheese Listeria outbreaks, including the FDA's ongoing legal case against Roos Foods for food poisoning in Maryland and California, have resulted in six U.S. deaths in the past 18 months and 35 hospitalizations, federal food safety reports indicate. The trend, in which three out of the past four national Listeria outbreaks have been linked to soft cheeses, provides public health agencies further confirmation that Mexican style cheese and other soft cheese products are foods to avoid if you are pregnant or in any other well-defined group at higher risk for contracting Listeriosis. The CDC said two mothers and three newborns are among those injured in the Listeria outbreak that the government has linked to Delaware-based Roos Foods, maker of brands like Mexicana and Santa Rosa de Lima. A … [Read more...]

Listeria in Roos Cheese An Outrage to Food Safety Advocates

Seven Hispanic families in Maryland and one in California have Listeria food poisoning lawsuits to consider in the wake of a fatal disease outbreak that was attributed by federal authorities to heavy bacterial contamination, deplorable manufacturing conditions and food safety violations at Delaware-based Roos Foods Inc. It's been one month since FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., ordered the suspension of Roos Foods' Food Facility Registration as a result of clear findings by investigators laid out in the commissioner's written FDA order. Soft cheeses and other dairy products made by Roos Foods and distributed in Latin stores and supermarkets on the East Coast and California killed a consumer in California and infected seven other people in Maryland, including babies. The … [Read more...]

Update on Roos Foods Dairy Products Listeria Outbreak

The CDC has updated the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Roos Foods dairy products. A total of eight people have been sickened in two states. They are: California (1) and Maryland (7). Seven of the eight ill persons have been hospitalized. One death was reported in California. Five of the illnesses (2 mother-newborn pairs and a newborn) were related to pregnancy. All patients are Hispanic. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes responsible for these illnesses was found in cheese products made by Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware. In addition, whole-genome sequencing of the bacteria isolated from Roos Foods Cheese products found they were "highly related" to the Listeria isolated from patients in the outbreak. These cheeses, along with other dairy products, have been … [Read more...]

FDA Closes Roos Foods Cheese Plant After Listeria Outbreak

The FDA has suspended the food facility registration of Roos Foods Inc. of Kenton, Delaware today after the FDA found there was a "reasonable probability of food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by Roos Foods causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans." Cheese and other products made by Roos Foods are linked to a Listeria outbreak that has sickened at least seven people in Maryland and killed one person in California. The investigation by the FDA, CDC, and state and local authorities found that the cheese was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This is only the second time since 2011 that the FDA has used its power to close a facility for producing a contaminated product. Inspections by authorities found that the roof was leaking so badly that water … [Read more...]

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