A recent outbreak of listeria has caused concern among health authorities. The outbreak was first investigated in 2017 and 2021, but it was reopened in January 2024 after new illnesses were reported and a strain of the outbreak was found in a sample of cheese and dairy from the California-based Rizo López Foods brand. As a result, Rizo López Foods has voluntarily recalled all cheese and other dairy products made in its facilities, which amounts to approximately 60 items, due to the risk of them being contaminated with listeria.
The outbreak has affected about 26 people from 11 states, with two deaths reported. One person died in California in 2017, and another death occurred in Texas in 2020. The contaminated products were sold under several brands and types of cheese, including queso fresco and cotija, and were available at popular retailers. The recall was initially limited to certain grocery stores, but it has since been expanded to more stores, including Trader Joe’s and Costco, both of which have also issued their own recalls.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised consumers who have purchased these items to not consume them and instead contact Trader Joe’s or Costco for a full refund. The CDC also warned against eating, selling, or serving brands of cheeses, creams, or recalled yogurts manufactured by Rizo-López Foods, Inc., or products made with recalled dairy products. Consumers are urged to check their refrigerators and freezers for recalled products and dispose of them.
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be deadly if consumed by certain groups. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the recall on February 6. The recalled products were sold under various brand names, including Uncle Francisco, Don Francisco, Rizo Bros, Río Grande, Food City, El Huache, La Ordena, San Carlos, Campesino, Santa María, Dos Ranchitos, Casa Cárdenas, and 365 Whole Foods Market. They were also sold in products at Trader Joe’s and under the Simply Fresh LLC and Fresh Creative Foods brands in Costco and Albertson stores. In addition to cheeses, some of the recalled products include enchiladas, sauces, salad kits, creams, and more.
In light of the recent outbreak, health authorities have issued a maximum alert in response to a rare disease in Guatemala that has left four dead and at least 60 affected. The situation is being closely monitored to prevent further spread of the disease.
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Food, Health, Agriculture