According to press reports, two Oregon mothers have been sickened by listeria after eating tainted Mexican-style cheese made in Yakima, causing their babies to be born with a serious illness.
Another person got sick as well in Washington state after eating Queso Fresco made by Queseria Bendita in Yakima. The firm’s three cheeses, including Requeson and Panela, are being recalled.
State health officials are tracking another woman who could have been sickened by the same cheese. It can take up to 70 days for someone who’s eaten a food tainted with listeria to become sick.
People with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to the organism. It poses a particular risk to pregnant women, who can have miscarriages or seriously sick babies. The infants don’t always make it.
Although queso fresco has been associated with listeria because it’s often made with raw milk in poor conditions, this dairy uses pasteurized milk. Still, inspectors from Washington state found listeria at Queseria Bendita’s small facility in Yakima. Positive samples were also found in unopened packages of its queso fresco.