DPH Expands Warning on El Abuelito Soft Cheese Products Tied to Listeria Outbreak

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In an expansion of an existing notice, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is warning consumers not to eat any El Abuelito Cheese Company soft cheese products after the items were tied to a multistate Listeria outbreak.

The FDA recall now includes all fresh cheese products with expiration dates through March 28, 2021. The items were distributed under the El Abuelito Cheese brand in CT, NJ, PA, NY; the Rio Grande Food Products brand in VA, NC, MD; and Río Lindo in NC and MD.

DPH said last week that testing confirmed the presence of listeria monocytogenes that genetically matched Listeria found in four other states during an outbreak.

Nine people have been hospitalized, including one in Connecticut. The other cases were in Maryland, New York and Virginia.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may also experience symptoms including high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, according to the DPH.

The product that tested positive came from El Abuelito, a manufacturer based in Paterson, New Jersey.

For more information on the FDA investigation and to see images of the products, click here.

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