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Listeria Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Listeria News & Outbreaks

Oasis Brands Cheese Linked to Listeria Illnesses in New York, Tennessee and Texas

The CDC reports that whole-genome sequences of the Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from recalled quesito casero cheese produced by Oasis Brands, Inc. were found to be highly related to sequences of Listeria strains isolated from one person who became ill in September 2013 and two persons who became ill in June and August 2014.

These three ill persons were reported from three states: New York (1), Tennessee (1), and Texas (1).

All ill persons were hospitalized. One death was reported in Tennessee. One illness was related to a pregnancy and was diagnosed in a newborn.

All ill persons were reported to be of Hispanic ethnicity and reported consuming Hispanic-style soft cheese. The two persons who were able to answer questions about specific varieties of Hispanic-style soft cheeses reported consuming quesito casero, though neither could remember the brand.

Several recalls of cheese and dairy products produced by Oasis Brands, Inc. due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination have been announced by FDA.

On August 4, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. voluntarily recalled quesito casero (fresh curd) due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination after the pathogen was isolated from quesito casero produced by this firm.

On October 6, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. recalled cuajada en hoja (fresh curd) after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isolated Listeria monocytogenes from environmental samples collected from the production facility.

On October 16, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. recalled various cheese and dairy products sold under the Lacteos Santa Martha brand.

Marte brand Frescolina ricotta salata cheese Listeria Outbreak Lawsuit – Multistate (2012)

Marler Clark filed a lawsuit against importer Forever Cheese and Peterson Company, a Washington state cheese distributor, on September 24, 2012. The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle on behalf of a Seattle woman who was hospitalized for 2 weeks after becoming ill with a Listeria infection she contracted through eating Marte brand Frescolina ricotta salata cheese. The firm filed a second lawsuit on behalf of a California couple whose baby was born prematurely and died after suffering a Listeria infection he contracted from his mother, who had eaten the Listeria-contaminated ricotta salata cheese.

In the fall of 2012 the CDC collaborated with public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis).  Joint investigation efforts indicated that ricotta salata cheese was the likely source.

Public health investigators used DNA “fingerprints” of Listeria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that were part of this outbreak.  They used data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections.

A total of 22 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from 13 states and the District of Columbia.  The number of ill people identified in each location was as follows:  California (3), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (2), and Washington (1).

Among persons for whom information is available, dates that illness was diagnosed ranged from March 28, 2012 to October 6, 2012.  Twenty ill persons were hospitalized.  Nine of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy; three of these were diagnosed in newborns.  The other 13 ill persons ranged in age from 30 years to 87 years, with a median age of 77 years, and 54% were female.  Four deaths were reported, one each from Minnesota, New York, Nebraska, and California.  In Nebraska and California, public health officials determined that the deaths were related to listeriosis.  In Minnesota and New York, public health officials did not report listeriosis as a cause of death because it was not listed as such on the death certificates.  One fetal loss also was reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies indicated that Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese imported from Italy and distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc. was the likely source of this outbreak of listeriosis.  FDA isolated the outbreak strain of Listeria from a sample of uncut Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese, which was imported from Italy and distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Dairy Recalls Listeria-tainted Milk

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today warned consumers in Sullivan County and the surrounding area not to consume “unpasteurized” raw farm milk from the Richard Dirie Farm, due to possible Listeria contamination. The Dirie Farm is located at 1345 Shandelee Road, Livingston Manor, New York. To date, no illnesses are known by the Department to be associated with this product.A sample of the milk, collected by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on October 21, 2014, was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On October 23, 2014, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and he volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed. Further laboratory testing, completed on October 28, 2014, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample. The producer is now prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of harmful bacteria.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, cancer patients, elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although otherwise healthy persons may suffer only short-term, flu-like symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

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Crab Legs Recalled Due to Listeria

Rome Packing Co., Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of Ocean’s Catch brand All Natural Jonah Crab Leg Meat after routine product sampling by the company determined some of the finished products may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Listeria monocytogenes, is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No illnesses have been reported to date. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and return them to the place of purchase for a refund or discard them.

The list of recalled products include fresh and frozen products.

The list of fresh recalled products are packaged in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), sold as refrigerated, includes:

5 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Fresh Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104804 with a sell by date before 10/15/14.

6 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Jonah Crab Combo Meat: lot number 0104791 with a sell by date before 10/13/14; lot number 0104666 with a sell by date before 10/15/14;

8 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Fresh Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104665 with a sell by date before 10/13/14; lot number 0104665 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104804 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104842 with a sell by date before 10/16/14;

8 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Jonah Crab Combo Meat: lot number 0104787 with a sell by date before 10/14/14;

16 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Fresh Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104659 with a sell by date before 10/13/14; lot number 0104665 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104842 with a sell by date before 10/16/14;

16 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Jonah Crab Combo Meat: lot number 0104806 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104845 with a sell by date before 10/16/14;

The list of frozen recalled products are packaged in plastic bags, sold frozen, includes:

5 pound bags of Ocean’s Catch All Natural Frozen Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104842 with a sell by date before 4/16/16;

The products are distributed in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois and California to retail stores including but not limited to: Shaw’s Supermarkets, Legal Sea Foods, and Harbor Fish Market.

SunBurst Foods Recalls Deli Products

SunBurst Foods of Goldsboro is voluntarily recalling all of its SunBurst, Fresh Bites and Private labeled products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The products being recalled were sold in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.

This recall was initiated as a result of sampling and testing performed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

Listeria cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. To date, SunBurst is unaware of any illnesses related to these products.

Products not manufactured but distributed by SunBurst such as cakes, burritos, and chips are not part of this recall.

All codes, all sell-by dates and sizes of SunBurst and Fresh Bites brands are being recalled.

Private label products are identified by the following brand names: River Edge Farms, CFW, Southern Zest, CJ’s Vending, Binford Street Deli, Middle Georgia Vendors, Roanoke Foods, Select Foods, and Jesse Jones (Double Chili Dogs).

Say No to Buddy’s with Listeria

Buddy’s Kitchen, a Burnsville, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 62,488 pounds of meat and poultry products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The meat and poultry breakfast products were produced on various dates from July 16, 2014 through Sept. 25, 2014, and then shipped to distributors, retail locations, and airlines nationwide. The following products are subject to recall:

“Swiss Cheese and Mushroom Omelet with Seasonal Tid-Bit Potatoes & Turkey Buffet Sausage Link” trays with the production codes “07/16/14 9”, “08/08/14 9” and “08/27/14 9”.
“Savory Scrambled Eggs with Seasoned Red Skin Potatoes and Turkey Buffet Links” with the production codes “09/19/14 9” and “09/22/14 9”.
“Garden Omelet w/ Parslied Potatoes & Chicken Sausage Links” with the production codes “07/16/14 9”, “07/17/14 9”, “07/18/14 9”, “07/22/14 9”, “07/25/14 9”, “08/22/14 9”, “08/25/14 9”, “09/02/14 9”, “09/09/14 9” and “09/16/14 9”.
“Fiesta Scramble Bowl with Sausage Links” with the production code “10I14 9”.
“Breakfast Skillet Burrito with eggs, sausage and cheese” with the production codes “18G14 2”, “06I14 4”, “16G14 4”, “17G14 2”, “07H14 4”, “20H14 2”, “21H14 4”, “22H14 4” and “25H14 4”.

Case labels or packaging may bear the establishment number “EST. 4226” or “P-4226” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

No Anchovies with Listeria

HAR Maspeth Corp. of Maspeth, NY, is recalling its 2 ounce and 4 ounce packages of Jinga “Pan Fried Anchovies” due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recalled Jinga “Pan Fried Anchovies” were distributed nationwide in retail stores and through mail orders. The product comes in a 2 ounce and 4 ounce, clear plastic packages marked with an expiration date of “9/28/2014” stamped on the top.

An alleged illness has been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

No no to Listeria Tainted Curd

Oasis Brands Inc. of Miami, FL, has recalled 12-oz. packages of Cuajada en Hoja (fresh curd) with Best-By dates of 10/01/14-10/08/14 and 10/18/14 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The recalled product was distributed in South Florida through retail stores.

The recalled product comes in plastic bags and is labeled Cuajada en Hoja 12-oz., Brand Lacteos Sta. Martha, Fresh Curd, Best by 10-01-14-10/08/14 and 10/18/14.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall is the result of sampling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company has ceased production and distribution of the product as FDA and the company continue their investigation into what caused the problem.

Foster Farms Listeria Recall – Chicken Strips

Foster Farms, a Farmerville, La., establishment, is recalling approximately 39,747  pounds of frozen pre-cooked chicken products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen Chicken Breast Grilled Strips product was produced on August 5, 2014, and then shipped to retail warehouse locations in California, Texas, Utah, and Washington state. The following product is subject to recall:

  • 3.5-lb. Plastic resealable bags containing frozen “Chicken Breast Grilled Strips.”

The affected product packaging will bear the establishment number “P-33901” as well as a Best by Date of 08-05-15.

The problem was discovered during the company’s routine in-plant inspection.  While some of the product was set aside and held, the product subject to this recall was inadvertently shipped.  FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Steelhead Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

Gold Star Smoked Fish Corp., located at 570 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, is recalling Cold Smoked Steelhead in Vacuum Pack with blue and gold label due to contamination or possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall was initiated after sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a sample of the product being recalled. Gold Star Smoked Fish Corp. is recalling the product as a precaution.

The recalled product is packaged in clear plastic vacuum bag for food service distribution and has a white label with a code 244 affixed on the back of the bag. The UPC Number on the front label is 021 143140026. The subject product was sold in the States of New York, New Jersey and Florida as a food service item to be weighed at point of sale.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.