One death has been reported from an outbreak of listeria linked to consumption of Latin-style soft cheese produced by a Yakima company, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
Three types of Queseria Bendita-brand cheese have been recalled after one person died and two others were hospitalized in King, Pierce and Yakima counties, the health department said Friday. Officials are advising customers who have purchased Queso Fresco, Panela or Requeson cheese to throw away the products. Grocery stores and distributors should pull the items.
In a statement, the company said the cheese in question was distributed to Hispanic grocery stores in Washington and Oregon, and the firm also sold products from its on-site store in Yakima.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the health department. Older adults, pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. Infected pregnant women may experience a mild, flu-like illness, but the infection can lead to miscarriage, to stillbirth, premature delivery or infection of the newborn. Symptoms often begin three weeks after the infection, but could take anywhere from three to 70 days.
The company recalled the same three soft cheeses in 2010 after pregnant women were sickened from eating the product.