ATLANTAOne person is dead and seven others have been hospitalized as the result of multistate outbreak of Listeria linked to Mexican-style cheese made by Roos Foods in Delaware, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency confirmed the death occurred in California, and the other illnesses were in Maryland.
According to Roos Foods, the cheeses were distributed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C through retail stores. The products are packaged in flexible plastic bags and rigid plastic clamshell packages in 12 ounce and 16 ounce sizes under the brand names Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima, and Anita.
The CDC said the illness onset ranged from Aug. 1 to Nov. 27, 2013; however, more illnesses may not be reported yet. Seven of the eight ill persons were hospitalized. Five of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy; two of these were diagnosed in two mothernewborn pairs, and one in only the newborn. The three other illnesses occurred among adults.
On Feb. 21, the Commonwealth of Virginia Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services issued a consumer advisory after samples of Cuajada en Terron (Fresh Cheese Curd) collected by the agency were found to contain Listeria monocytogenes.
On Feb. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Roos Foods recalled all lots of Mexicana brand Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacera, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresca Round, Queso Dura Viejo Hard Cheeses; Amigo brand Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacera, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresca Round, Queso Dura Viejo Hard Cheeses; Santa Rosa De Lima brand Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacera, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresca Round, Queso Dura Viejo Hard Cheeses; and Anita brand Queso Fresco.
The company has ceased the production and distribution of the products as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem. CDC is advising consumers to destroy the recalled products.
In 2011, a deadly Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Colorado-based Jensen Farms was tied to 147 illnesses, 33 deaths and one miscarriage. On Jan. 28, 2014, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty sentenced brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen, owners of Jensen Farms, to each serve five years of probation, 100 hours of community service and six months of home detention. The brothers also were ordered to pay $150,000 each in restitution. FDA found that several factors could have contributed to the outbreak, including failure to wash the cantaloupes with a chlorine solution.