recall alert

CDC: Stop Eating Potentially Contaminated Local Brand of White Cheese

The CDC wants consumers to stop eating queso fresco under the El Abuelito brand

El Abuelito cheese logo

The CDC is warning people not to eat or sell any queso fresco sold under the El Abuelito brand name, after 10 people in four states were sickened with listeria.

The new guidance expands on a recall announced last week for queso fresco products under the brand names El Abuelito, Rio Grande and Rio Lindo, manufactured by the Paterson, NJ-based company.

"CDC is concerned that any cheese made or handled at this facility could be contaminated and make people sick," the agency said in a statement.

The CDC received three new illness reports this week, bringing the total to 10 in four states -- Connecticut, New York, Maryland and Virginia. Of the 10, nine were hospitalized, though none have died.

Consumers are warned to throw away or return the cheese if they have it, and to thoroughly clean their refrigerators and any other containers or surfaces that may have touched the product.

The company was not immediately available for comment on the new warning. The FDA previously said El Abuelito had ceased production of the affected products.

Listeria can cause common food poisoning symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. Pregnant women and those over 65 are considered particularly at risk.

The CDC first warned of a cheese-linked listeria outbreak about 10 days ago, but had not yet identified a potential source. That was followed a few days later by the El Abuelito recall, and then the new CDC warning issued Wednesday.

Copyright NBC New York
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