Health

Now Trader Joe’s issues nationwide recall of four cotija cheese products that may be contaminated with deadly listeria bacteria – after two Americans died from food poisoning bug

Trader Joe’s has recalled four products that may contain listeria – amid a nationwide outbreak linked to contaminated cheeses.

The grocer has recalled its Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Cilantro Salad Dressing, Elote Chopped Salad Kit and Southwest Salad, which all contain cotija cheese.

The announcement is linked to an FDA recall of Rizo-Lopez Foods dairy items, including contaminated cheese, crema, and yogurt. 

Rizo-Lopez products are sold in a number of major chain supermarkets, including Food City and Whole Foods.

The outbreak has killed two people and affected items were sold nationwide.

Trader Joe has recalled its Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Cilantro Salad Dressing, Elote Chopped Salad Kit and Southwest Salad, which all contain cotija cheese

Americans from 11 states have been sickened, and two have died. The deaths occurred in California and Texas

Americans from 11 states have been sickened, and two have died. The deaths occurred in California and Texas

The CDC stated that 26 Americans have been sickened and 23 have been hospitalized in 11 states. Two deaths have been reported – one in California and one in Texas.

Trader Joe’s advised customers to discard any recalled products or return them to a store for a full refund.

Listeria is an infection normally caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. 

Most people who eat food contaminated with listeria will not fall seriously ill. But in some cases, it can cause confusion and seizures, miscarriage in pregnant women, and even death.

This can happen when the infection spreads beyond the gut and can affect the central nervous system, which can lead to numbness and seizures. 

The CDC estimates that 1,600 Americans become infected with listeria every year, and about 260 die.  

Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, tiredness, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures.

Earlier this week, the body recalled 61 products including cheese, yogurt, and sour cream (crema)  sold under 13 brand names – including 365 Whole Foods Market and Food City.

The items of concern were sold between June 2014 to December 2023.

The agency urged people to throw out any affected products, clean refrigerators and surfaces, and call a health care provider right away if you suffer any symptoms.

The CDC collected asked people who were sickened about the foods they had eaten within a month of becoming ill, though not all patients were surveyed. The agency states that it is still conducting interviews.

Of the 22 patients who were interviewed, 16 – 73 percent – reported eating queso fresco, cotija, or other similar cheeses. 

Patients ranged from under one year old to 88 years old, and the average age was 52.

About 58 percent of those sickened were female and 42 percent were male. 

The majority of those affected (71 percent) were white. Five percent were Native American or Alaska Native, and 24 percent reported another race.

Additionally, 85 percent reported being Hispanic. 

Among those who remembered the specific brands, three who were sickened between 2014 and 2022 reported the cheese brand Don Francisco.  

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  • Source of information and images “dailymail

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