Several major retailers, including Costco and Trader Joe’s, have recalled items containing dairy products from Rizo-López Foods Inc. due to possible Listeria contamination.
Rizo-López Foods Inc. initially recalled dozens of dairy products last week after an investigation identified them as the source of a multistate Listeria outbreak that resulted in two deaths and 23 hospitalizations.
Since then, the recall has expanded to include other products made with the recalled yogurt, sour cream and cheese, such as salad dressings, sandwiches and salad kits.
Brands and products recalled over the past week include:
• SaveMart: Chicken Street Taco Kit• The Perfect Bite Co: Mexican Street Corn Bites• Stater Brothers: Chicken Street Taco Kit• Express Fees: Express fresh salsa! Ensalada Kit, Southwest Market Chopped Salad Kit• Albertsons, Safeway, Eagle, Carrs-Safeway, Pavilions, Vons, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, Lucky: Chicken Taco Kits and Meals• Dole, Marketside, President’s Choice: Salad kits• Fresh and ready, sprig and sprout, Jack and olive: Torta sandwiches Market side: Crunchy Bacon Ranch Salad Kit• Market side: Crunchy Chopped Bacon Ranch Salad Kit• Bright farms: Bright Farms Southwest Chipotle Crunch Kit• Salad Kit Trader Joe’s: Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Cilantro Vinaigrette, Elote Chopped Salad Kit, Southwest Salad• Market side, Ready Pac Bistro: Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit, Crunchy Bacon Ranch Kit, Fresh Mex Chopped Kit, Crunchy Queso Salad Kit• by Rojo: 6 Layer Black Bean Dip• Don Pancho, HEB, Trader Joe’s: Cilantro Lime Crema, Fiesta Everything Sauce, Cotija Cilantro Vinaigrette, Caesar Poblano Vinaigrette, Cilantro Vinaigrette, Street Taco Express Meal Kit
For more information about specific product recalls, consumers can visit the FDA’s Recalls, Market Recalls, and Safety Alerts website.
The recalled products from Rizo-López Foods Inc. were distributed nationwide and sold under the brands 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, according to a food safety alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The scale of the outbreak is likely larger than currently reported numbers because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria, according to the CDC. The agency is working with the FDA to investigate the outbreak.
What is Listeria?
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection in pregnant women can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths, the CDC said. Healthy people may only experience short-term symptoms.
The infection may present with fever, muscle aches, excessive fatigue, severe headache, nausea, stomach upset, or diarrhea. Symptoms usually begin within two weeks of eating contaminated food, but can appear as early as the same day or up to 10 weeks later, according to the CDC.
The CDC said it is aware of 26 people from 11 states who were infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria between June 2014 and December 2023. The two deaths associated with the infections were reported in California and Texas.
What to do with recalled products
Consumers should check their refrigerators and freezers for any products and throw them away immediately. They should also clean the refrigerator and any containers or surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled products, because Listeria can survive in the refrigerator and spread to other foods and surfaces, the CDC said.
Consumers should contact their health care provider immediately if they experience any of the symptoms listed above after eating the recalled dairy products. They can contact Rizo-López Foods Inc. directly with any questions at 1-833-296-2233 and report adverse events to the FDA.
Although the Listeria outbreak has already been investigated twice, once in 2017 and again in 2021, the CDC said it does not have enough data so far to identify the source of the epidemic. Recent interviews with sick people and examinations at establishments led the CDC to identify queso fresco and Cotija cheese made by Rizo-López Foods as the source of the illnesses.
This is not the first recall of Rizo-López Foods Inc. products linked to Listeria, according to the CDC investigation. The company recalled its aged Cotija cheese in early January after Hawaii state officials found Listeria in the product.
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