Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes in Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese (February 2024)

On February 5, 2024, the FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, reported investigating illnesses in a multi-year, multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to queso fresco and cotija cheeses manufactured by Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. (Modesto, California). This outbreak includes cases dating back to 2014 and is currently ongoing. CDC investigated this outbreak in 2017 and 2021. Epidemiologic evidence in previous investigations identified queso fresco and other similar cheeses as a potential source of the outbreak, but there was not enough information to identify a specific brand. A sample of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes during sampling conducted by the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Food and Drug Branch in January 2024. In response to that finding, Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. voluntarily recalled one batch of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija Mexican Grating Cheese (8oz) on January 11, 2024. CDC and FDA reopened the investigation in January 2024 after new illnesses were reported in December 2023. WGS analysis of the cotija cheese sample showed that the same strain of Listeria is causing illnesses in this outbreak. An environmental sample collected during that inspection tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. In response to this investigation, Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. has voluntarily recalled all of its dairy products. The recalled products include cheese, yogurt, and sour cream sold under the brand names Tio Francisco, Don Francisco, Rizo Bros, Rio Grande, Food City, El Huache, La Ordena, San Carlos, Campesino, Santa Maria, Dos Ranchitos, Casa Cardenas, and 365 Whole Foods Market. The firm has temporarily ceased the production and distribution of these products. A total of 26 illnesses with 23 hospitalizations and 2 deaths were reported.States with Cases: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, NV, NC, OR, TN, TX, and WA. @ https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-listeria-monocytogenes-queso-fresco-and-cotija-cheese-february-2024?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


 Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Queso Fresco Cotija
Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Queso Fresco Cotija

Do not eat, sell, or serve recalled Rizo Lopez Foods dairy products. FDA’s investigation is ongoing.

No comments

Leave a Reply