One death linked to Listeria from soft cheese

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Queseria Bendita of Washington recalled four cheeses
Queseria Bendita of Washington recalled four cheeses

Related tags Shelf life Listeria

Two people have been hospitalized and one has died in an ongoing outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to Latin-style soft cheese.  

Queseria Bendita of Washington, USA, recalled all lots of Panela, Queso Fresco, Requeson, Cotija fresh soft cheese products and sour cream to include best by dates up to April 16.

The products were distributed to Hispanic grocery stores in Washington and Oregon and the firm also sold from its on-site store in Yakima, Washington.

Halted production

The recall came after an investigation and samples collected by the Food and Drug Administration, a list of the affected products can be found here.

Queseria Bendita has also stopped producing and distributing cheese.

The Washington State Department of Health warned consumers who may have purchased the products to throw them away and not eat it.

Grocery stores and distributors should pull and not sell these products, it added.

The department of health said it was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration on the ongoing outbreak.

Affected people

Three cases have been identified from Washington in King, Pierce and Yakima counties, as of last week.

One was pregnancy-associated, two people were hospitalized and one death was reported.

There are about ten to 25 cases of listeriosis reported each year in Washington.

About 30-50% of newborns and 35% of non-pregnant adults with serious infection die from listeriosis.

The recalled products are packaged with clear plastic wrapper or plastic tub, and are stamp coded with the best by date up to 4/16/2015.

They are refrigerated and have the shelf life of up to 90 days.

Queseria Bendita also recalled three types of cheese, Queso Fresco, Panela, and Requeson, because of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in 2010.

Health officials linked the illness of a pregnant woman in King County to cheese products contaminated with Listeria. The woman was ill in January and recovered.

Samples from stores and the plant confirmed the bacteria.

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