listeria outbreak

DPH Warns Public Not to Eat El Abuelito Queso Fresco After Sample Tests Positive for Listeria

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The Connecticut Department of Public Health is warning the public not to eat, serve or sell El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese after laboratory testing found Listeria monocytogenes in a sample collected from a Connecticut store last week.

The product that tested positive came from El Abuelito, a manufacturer based in Paterson, New Jersey. It was sold as a 10-oz plastic container with lot number A027 and a date of February 26, 2021, according to DPH. It is unknown if any other lot numbers are contaminated, officials said.

NBC Connecticut has reached out to the company for comment on the warning.

The testing began as part of an ongoing investigation into a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis. The cause of the outbreak is still being determined.

According to the FDA, seven people who are infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria live in Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in high risk individuals since as young children, the elderly, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems. Healthy individuals may also experience symptoms including high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

DPH is warning everyone not to eat any El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese until further notice and telling consumers if they have to throw it out. Health officials also warn that anyone at high risk for infection, such as immune-compromised individuals, pregnant women, young children and the elderly, should avoid all Hispanic-style fresh cheeses such as queso fresco, queso blanco and queso panela, until further notice.

You're urged to call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms after eating fresh and soft cheeses.

For more information on the FDA investigation, click here.

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