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Listeria Threat In Mexicali Cheese Corp. Products

Listeria Threat In Mexicali Cheese Corp. Products

Risk of illness based on contamination at New York production facility

July 17th, 2012 by James Limbach of ConsumerAffairs in News

Be careful about buying or consuming any products from the Mexicali Cheese Corp. of Woodhaven, NY. 

The warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows the discovery of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes in the company's finished product. 

The affected Mexicali Cheese products were distributed in the New York City area, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. The FDA is asking retailers to remove any Mexicali cheese products from their shelves and warns that consumers may have moved the products beyond those states. 

Serious illness 

Listeria contamination can result in listeriosis, a disease that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. However, in rare cases, people without these risk factors also can be affected. 

Although healthy people 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. 

Warnings issued 

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which issued warnings on June 29 and July 2, 2012, said the product is packaged in a rigid 14 oz. plastic tub that displays the plant number 36-0128 and a code of 071512. The following product names are on the package containers: 

  • Mexicali Queso Fresco Mexicano, Mexican Style Fresh Cheese

  • Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese

  • Mi Quesito Mexicano, Mexican Cheese; and

  • Quesillo Ecuatoriano, Ecuadorian Style Cheese 

Those who have eaten these products and experience any of the symptoms of listeriosis listed above should contact their health care professional. Consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator. 

Under a May 1, 2012, consent decree of permanent injunction, Mexicali Cheese was required by a court order to stop manufacturing and distributing any articles of food until it completed FDA-approved measures to correct food safety deficiencies, decontaminate its facility and take other steps needed to comply with the law. 

The company did not comply with these requirements.