New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine today warned consumers in the metropolitan New York area, including Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, to not consume certain “Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese” products made by Mexicali Cheese Corp. located at 91-52 87th Street in Woodhaven, New York due to possible Listeria contamination.
The product is packaged in a rigid 14 oz. plastic tub that displayed the plant number 36-0128 and a code of 071512. This consumer warning affects all packages with this code. The product was packaged in containers bearing the following product names: Mexicali Queso Fresco Mexicano, Mexican Style Fresh Cheese; or Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese.
A routine sample of the cheese, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on June 20, 2012, was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On June 25, 2012 the manufacturer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and voluntarily recalled the product from their customers. Test results were confirmed on June 29, 2012. Subsequent samples will be taken to verify that the product is free of pathogens.
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 persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
To date, no illnesses are known by the Department to be associated with this product.