Listeria Contamination Fears Spark Queso Fresco Casero Cheese Recall

The risk of listeria contamination has led to a recall of Queso Fresco Casero Fresh Cheese in Washington. 

The Queso Fresco Casero cheese recall was announced by the FDA on September 16, after Washington state health officials detected listeria during routine testing. However, there have been no confirmed reports of food poisoning linked to the recalled cheese.

The recall affects all 16 ounce packages of Queso Fresco Casero Fresh Cheese by Grandview-based Del Bueno with a date stamp of Sept. 14, 2011. The cheese was sold in round, clear, plastic packages in retail markets throughout the state of Washington and at the Pasco, Washington flea market.

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Del Bueno has said it will notify customers and tell retailers to stop selling the cheese. The FDA recommends that consumers who have purchased the recalled cheese return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions can call the company at (425)503-3823.

The recall comes as a listeria outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes is being blamed for at least four deaths, and may soon be linked to two more, according to officials from the New Mexico Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 35 people have reportedly been made sick so far after eating contaminated the cantaloupes.

Those illnesses have been tracked back to Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes distributed by Jensen Farms in Colorado. A Jensen Farms cantaloupe recall was announced last week.

At least one Cantaloupe food poisoning lawsuit has already been filed by a Colorado family against Jensen Farms and Walmart, where they purchased a cantaloupe that allegedly made Charles Palmer ill in mid-August.

Listeria infections, also known as listeriosis, pose a particular risk for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate associated with listeriosis is about 25%.

Blood tests are usually required to diagnose listeriosis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of listeriosis include muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, severe headaches and fever. If the bacteria spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream and nervous system, it could cause meningitis and other complications.


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