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Lysteria outbreak linked to Hispanic-style cheese; 1 death reported

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A multi-state outbreak of Listeriosis has been linked to fresh cheese curd produced by Roos Foods of Delaware, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Feb. 21.

Eight people, including three newborns, were stricken with the illness. One death has been reported in California. All those infected are of Hispanic ethnicity.

The outbreak is linked to a strain identified earlier in the month by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in cheese sold at a Mega Mart store in Manassas.

Symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes infection include a high fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The organism can be fatal to young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. It can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

Health agencies in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia are warning consumers not to eat Roos Foods cheese products.

Roos Foods manufactures cheeses under the following brand names:

  • Santa Rosa de Lima
  • Amigo
  • Mexicana
  • Suyapa
  • La Chapina
  • La Purisima
  • Crema Nica

Anyone who has consumed suspected foods should contact their health care provider.

The FDA warns that Listeria monocytogenes can grow at refrigerator temperatures, and consumers should regularly clean their refrigerators as well as food preparation surfaces and utensils.