Rizo-López Foods, a California-based cheese and dairy company, is recalling more than 60 products sold nationwide following a listeria outbreak that has killed two people and caused more than 20 hospitalizations.
The CDC previously investigated a listeria outbreak of the same strain in 2017 and 2021, but was unable to trace it back to a specific brand. Last month, they reopened the case after new illnesses were reported in December and the same strain was found in a cheese sample from Rizo-López Foods.
What foods have been recalled?
The recalled products include cheese, yogurt, and sour cream sold under the brand names Tio Francisco, Don Francisco, Rizo Bros, Rio Grande, Food City, El Huache, La Ordena, San Carlos, Campesino, Santa Maria, Dos Ranchitos, Casa Cardenas, and 365 Whole Foods Market, according to the FDA.
The FDA has advised consumers to throw away any recalled products and clean and sanitize any surfaces or containers they touched.
Which nationwide retailers have recalled products?
Trader Joes also recalled items containing cotija cheese, including two salads, chicken enchiladas verde, and a cilantro salad dressing.
The grocery chains H-E-B and Albertsons were also carrying sauces, dressings, and cremas that were voluntarily recalled due to risk of contamination.
What are the first signs of listeria?
Symptoms of listeria, a bacteria that can contaminate many kinds of food and cause severe illness, usually appear within two weeks of exposure, and are most common in people who are pregnant, newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems—though other people can be infected with listeria, they rarely become seriously ill, according to the CDC.
Symptoms among people who are pregnant are typically mild and include fever, and flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue. However, a listeria infection while pregnant can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection in the newborn.
In those who are not pregnant, symptoms include fever, flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and seizures.
How common is listeria in food?
A few outbreaks of Listeria infections occur every year, according to the CDC.
The CDC urges those with high risk to avoid specific foods likely to be contaminated with the bacteria — including unpasteurized soft cheeses, raw or lightly cooked sprouts, and unheated deli meats. Listeria is easily killed by heating food to a safe minimum internal temperature.
How do you treat listeria?
Listeria must first be diagnosed through a lab test of body tissue or fluid. Most infections can be treated with antibiotics—but specific treatment plans will vary based on the severity of illness.
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