Company expands recall to include string cheese and ricotta after 10 people fall ill
In Patterson, NJ, has broadened its recall of its soft cheese products due to the possibility that they are contaminated with listeria.
El Abuelito cheese in February had published the first recall for certain Queso Fresco products. which has now been expanded to include all Queso Fresco products such as chain cheese (Quesillo) and ricotta cheese (Requeson).
According to announcement with the United States Food and Drug Administration, Listeria monocytogenes is “an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.” Although healthy people only experience short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, infection with Listeria monocytogenes can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.
All Queso Fresco products with expiration dates until March 28, 2021; all Quesillo products (Oaxaca, chain cheese) with sales dates until April 16, 2021; and all Requeson (Ricotta) products with a sell-by date until March 14, 2021 are being recalled.
The FDA said the CDC has reported 10 people infected with the same strain of listeria in four states.
“As part of this investigation into the outbreak, the Connecticut Department of Public Health collected samples of El Abuelito brand Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheese products from a store where a sick person was purchasing cheese. .
On 2/19/2021, a whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory determined that the listeria monocytogenes found in the samples matched the strain of the outbreak. “
The products are sold under the El Abuelito Cheese brand in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
In Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, this is the Rio Grande Food Products brand; in North Carolin and Maryland, it is Rio Lindo.
The products were distributed until February 16, 2021 in supermarkets, wholesalers and retail stores. Some may have been reconditioned.
Stores in Pennsylvania who received the products are located in Ambler, Bensalem, Croydon, Dublin, Hatboro, Hazleton, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pipersville, Quakertown, Scranton, St. Lansdale, Upper Darby, Warminster, Warrington and Wilkes-Barre.
In addition to this reminder:
- El Abuelito cheese, Quesillo Abuelito, 12 ounces, vacuum packed, UPC code 673130200000.
- El Abuelito cheese, Quesillo Abuelito, 5 pounds, vacuum bag, bulk bag, UPC code 673130500001.
- El Abuelito cheese, Quesillo Abuelito, 10 pounds, vacuum bag, bulk bag, UPC code 673130600008.
- El Abuelito cheese, Ricotta El Abuelito Requeson, 12 ounces, clam shell container, UPC code 673130300014.
The FDA advises anyone who purchased the products not to eat them and return them to the place of purchase for a refund. The FDA also recommends that anyone who purchased the products “exercise special care when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.”
Listeria can survive refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces. “
For more information, call El Abuelito at 973-345-3503 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST on weekdays and between 8 a.m. and noon EST on Saturdays.