The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers that the FDA is working with El Abuelito Cheese, Inc. to recall all of its cheese products (queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese, cotija cheese, and crema).
The Connecticut State Laboratory has confirmed that the Listeria monocytogenes found in samples of El Abuelito Cheese products is a match for the Listeria monocytogenes that has caused illness in 10 people in MD, CT, NY, and VA. Earlier this week, the FDA and El Abuelito announced a recall of Queso Fresco products with "sell by" dates through 03/28/21. Today, the FDA has expanded its warning to include all El Abuelito-brand cheeses until more information is known.
This step was taken out of an abundance of caution and due to the severity of Listeria infection.
Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any El Abuelito brand cheeses, including, but not limited to, the recalled El Abuelito cheeses listed below. Additionally they should not eat, sell, or serve any recalled Rio Grande and Rio Lindo brand queso fresco cheeses.
El Abuelito Cheese: • Queso Fresco Regular, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 673130100003 • Queso Fresco Promoción, 10 oz., Plastic Container, 673130100078 • Queso Fresco de Hoja, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 673130100065 • Queso Fresco, 5 Lb., Vaccuum Packed, 673130100058 • Queso Fresco Guatemala, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 673130100027
Rio Grande Food Products, Inc.: • Chirilagua Queso de Hacienda, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 738529005571 • Queso Fresco Campestre con Hoja, 14 oz., Plastic Container, 812324031161 • Queso Fresco Campestre Artesanal, 14 oz., Plastic Container, 738529002518 • Queso Fresco con Hoja, 14 oz., Plastic Container, 738529004581 • Queso Fresco Yorito, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 738529005564 • Queso Fresco Olancho, 14 oz., Plastic Container, 812324031222 • Cuajada Fresca Guatemalteca, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 738529001276 • Cuajada Fresca Hondureña, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 738529001269 • Cuajada Fresca Salvadoreña, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 738529001252 Rio Lindo: • Queso Fresco Mexicano, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 718122088587 • Queso Fresco Hondureño, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 718122088591 • Queso Fresco Salvadoreño, 12 oz., Plastic Container, 718122088607
FDA recommends that anyone who purchased or received any El Abuelito brand cheeses or recalled products use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces. Listeria Monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Call your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms (high fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea) of infection with Listeria after eating Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses.