In a concerning development, a Listeria outbreak linked to queso, cheese, and various dairy products has resulted in two fatalities and numerous reported illnesses across 11 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a food safety alert on Tuesday, revealing that Rizo-López Foods has initiated a recall of all cheeses and dairy items produced in its facility due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
Recalled Products and Brands
The recalled products, distributed nationally, were sold under various brand names, including Campesino, Casa Cardenas, Don Francisco, Dos Ranchitos, El Huache, Food City, La Ordena, Rio Grande, Rizo Bros, San Carlos, Santa Maria, Tio Francisco, and 365 Whole Foods Market. The CDC has provided a comprehensive list of 61 recalled products on its website.
Extent of Outbreak and Fatalities
As of now, the Listeria outbreak has affected 26 individuals in 11 states, including California, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Tragically, two deaths have been reported in California and Texas, underscoring the severity of the situation.
Listeria Symptoms and Risks
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can lead to serious infections, particularly in young children, elderly individuals, or those with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women are also at risk, as Listeria can cause miscarriages or stillbirths. Symptoms typically manifest within two weeks after consuming contaminated food, encompassing fever, muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and seizures.
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CDC Recommendations and Urgency
The CDC has urgently advised against consuming any recalled cheese or dairy products linked to the outbreak. Individuals in possession of these products are instructed to discard them immediately. Furthermore, thorough cleaning of refrigerators, containers, and surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled items is recommended.
Contact Information for Queries
For individuals seeking additional information or with concerns about the recalled products, Rizo-López Foods can be contacted at 1-833-296-2233.
Conclusion: Heightened Vigilance and Recall Compliance
As health authorities diligently work to contain the Listeria outbreak, it is crucial for consumers to exercise heightened vigilance. Strict adherence to the CDC’s recall recommendations, including the immediate disposal of the recalled products and thorough cleaning of affected areas, is imperative to prevent further cases of illness. The gravity of the situation underscores the importance of food safety measures and the swift response to potential contamination in the food supply chain.