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FDA cheese recall now includes products sold at Costco, Walmart

The CDC says 26 illnesses and two deaths are potentially tied to the recalled cotija cheese and queso fresco, with cases reported in 11 states.
FDA cheese recall now includes products sold at Costco, Walmart
Posted at 9:11 AM, Feb 13, 2024

A recall involving cotija cheese and queso fresco has grown in recent days as additional companies say they used potentially contaminated cheeses in their products. 

The recalls arrived after the Food and Drug Administration urged the public not to consume recalled cheeses, creams or yogurts made by Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. 

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 26 illnesses and two deaths potentially tied to the recalled cheeses. The CDC said these products were potentially contaminated with listeria. 

The CDC said cases have been reported in 11 states, with California reporting eight illnesses.

Among the latest products to be recalled include premade Southwest chicken wraps and chicken street taco kits sold at the Costco deli counter. Also, Maverick Foods' Chipotle Chicken & Rice Bowl sold at Costco were included in the recall. 

The Perfect Bite Co. also recalled its Mexican Style Street Corn Bites sold at Costco.

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Recalled products sold at Walmart include Taylor Fresh Foods' Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Salad Kit and Braga Fresh's Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Chopped Salad Kit. 

The updated list of products comes days after Trader Joe's announced several of its items have been recalled. 

A full list of products added to the recall is available on the FDA's website. 

Listeria symptoms usually start within two weeks after eating contaminated food, but they may start as early as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after. Mild symptoms may include a fever, muscle aches, nausea, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea.

More severe cases may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.  

Consumers should check their refrigerators and freezers for any of the products listed and get rid of them. Since listeria can survive in the refrigerator and easily spread to other foods and surfaces, make sure you thoroughly clean any surface the contaminated product touched.

This outbreak was investigated twice before by the CDC, in 2017 and 2021, but there was not enough data to identify a source until this most recent investigation, the agency said. 

A sample of Rizo Bros aged cotija tested positive for listeria during sampling conducted by the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Food and Drug Branch last month, prompting the CDC and FDA to reopen the investigation. 

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