listeria outbreak

Listeria Outbreak Potentially Linked to Fresh and Soft Cheeses Hospitalizes 7 People

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A Listeria outbreak that is potentially linked to fresh and soft cheeses has sent seven people to the hospital, including one person in Connecticut.

Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local partners are investigating the multi-state outbreak.

"Although the investigation is ongoing, CDC's analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses are the leading hypotheses for the cause of the illness," the FDA said on its website. Examples of the fresh and soft cheeses include queso fresco, queso blanco and queso panela.

No specific type or brand of cheese has been confirmed as the source of the illness, the FDA added.

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

The Connecticut Department of Health said they want residents, restaurants and food retailers in the state to be aware of the potential risks.

"Generally, make sure the Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses (like queso fresco) you eat have labels that state, 'made with pasteurized milk," the FDA recommends.

If you are pregnant, aged 65 or older or have a weakened immune system due to medical conditions or treatments, the FDA is urging you not to eat any fresh and soft cheeses until officials identify a specific brand or type that is making people sick.

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

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