CDC Warns of Listeria Outbreak After Large Recall of Cotija Cheese, Queso Fresco, and Other Dairy Products

An outbreak of listeria illnesses in 11 states has led to a recall of more than a dozen brands of dairy products, including queso fresco, cotija cheese, and ricotta cheese.

Listeria is a common bacteria, but one strain that can contaminate food, Listeria monocytogenes, is potentially life-threatening. The outbreak has so far led to 23 hospitalizations and two deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued an alert about the outbreak, notes that illnesses have been traced back to cheese, crema, and yogurt produced by Rizo-López Foods. The products were sold nationwide under the following brands:

  • Campesino
  • Casa Cardenas
  • Don Francisco
  • Dos Ranchitos
  • El Huache
  • Food City
  • La Ordena
  • Rio Grande
  • Rizo Bros
  • San Carlos
  • Santa Maria
  • Tio Francisco
  • 365 Whole Foods Market

A full list of recalled products can be found on the CDC’s website.

The CDC has investigated outbreaks linked to this specific strain of listeria twice before, in 2017 and 2021, but could not identify its source. Recent interviews with sick people and testing at the production facility confirmed the source of the current outbreak.

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