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FDA recall notice: El Abuelito cheese recall expands due to Listeria fears

El Abuelito Cheese has issued the recall of all of their fresh soft cheeses as the FDA warns consumers of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
Credit: JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT
File - Soft cheeses like feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined and queso fresco are at high risk of contamination.

The FDA is warning consumers after El Abuelito Cheese out of Paterson, New Jersey, has had to recall all of their fresh, soft cheeses or "Queso Fresco," along with "Quesillo" (which is a Qaxaca-style string cheese) and their "Requeson" (Ricotta) because there is the potential for these products to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the agency says

Look out for any Queso Fresco products from El Abuelito with a sell-by date that is through March 28, 2021. For the Quesillo product, the sell-by date is through April 16, 2021. For the Requeson product, the sell-by date is through March 14, 2021. 

The products are sold by El Abuelito and were distributed in the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Consumers are also asked by the FDA to look out for these products sold by Rio Grande Food Products, which were distributed by that brand in the states of Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

Rio Lindo also distributed products that the FDA is warning about under this recall to the states of North Carolina and Maryland. The agency says to look out for the brands Viejito, El Paisano, El Sabrosito, La Cima, Quesos Finos, San Carlos and Ideal Brands as well. 

The FDA's recommendations are:

If you are at higher risk for severe Listeria illness (e.g. pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments) do not eat any of these fresh and soft cheeses (like queso fresco, queso blanco, and queso panela), until the specific type or brand that is making people sick is identified. 

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms after eating any of these fresh and soft cheeses:

  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.

Find all of the product packaging and UPC code details here on the FDA's website

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