The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified specific brands of cheese products that led to the listeria outbreak on the East Coast.
Earlier this month, the CDC issued an alert to the public after several illnesses were reported in consumers who ate certain types of soft, fresh cheese.
“Do not eat any soft, fresh Spanish-style cheeses (such as fresco, queso blanco, queso panela) until we have identified a specific type or brand that makes people sick, the CDC’s initial alert stated.
This week, the CDC identified the specific brands: El Abuelito, Rio Grande, and Rio Lindo.
According to the CDC, all queso fresco products sold under these names should be considered suspicious and could be contaminated with Listeria.
On Friday, January 19, El Abuelito Cheese Inc. All queso plaster products made in the same facility with sale dates through Sunday, March 28.
Officials said, “Other El Abuelito-branded cheeses manufactured have not been withdrawn or handled at the same facility as the Queso mural, but the CDC is concerned that they may be contaminated and could make people sick.” “Investigators are working to identify all cheese products made or processed at that facility that may be contaminated.”
As of Thursday, February 25, 10 diseases have been reported, including nine hospitalizations due to the outbreak. Of these 10 diseases, four were reported in New York and one in Connecticut, and others were reported in Virginia and Maryland.
Officials indicated that Connecticut officials found the listeria outbreak strain in samples of El Abuelito brand queso fresco cheese collected from a store where a sick person bought commercial El Abuelito cheeses.
According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, consumption of foods contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that mainly affects the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and newborns.
Less commonly, it is affected by others outside of these at-risk groups.
Listeria can cause fever, muscle pain, headache, neck stiffness, confusion, loss of balance, and cramps, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other digestive symptoms.
“An invasive infection spreads outside the digestive system. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirth, premature birth, or life-threatening infections.” In addition, the infection is dangerous and sometimes fatal in the elderly and people who Have weak immune systems. “
Listeria infects nearly 1,600 Americans each year, and kills about 260, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most people have a high temperature, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and headache.
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