The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers not to purchase or consume any products from the New York cheese manufacturer - Mexicali Cheese Corp., due to Listeria threat.
Mexicali Cheese makes and distributes a variety of soft Mexican cheeses to grocery stores and supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mexicali Cheese's products include queso fresco (fresh cheese), queso oaxaca (Oaxacan cheese) and queso para freir (cheese for frying).
Earlier in the year, the FDA filed a complaint for permanent injunction against Mexicali Cheese for producing the products under persistent unsanitary conditions at its New York production facility, despite federal and state warnings to correct violations.
Under a court order issued on May 1, 2012, Mexicali Cheese was required 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.
On July 2, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services issued an alert warning consumers not to consume certain cheese products of the company namely, Mexicali Queso Fresco Mexicano, Mexican Style Fresh Cheese, Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese, Mi Quesito Mexicano, Mexican Cheese, Quesillo Ecuatorian and Ecuadorian Style Cheese, bearing the code 071512 and plant number 36-0128.
The FDA in a statement issued Friday said that the affected Mexicali Cheese products were distributed in the New York City area, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. However, consumers may have moved the products beyond those states, warns the agency. Retailers have been asked to remove any Mexicali cheese products from their shelves.
Consuming food contaminated with the deadly Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. It can also cause serious complications for pregnant women, such as stillbirth. Symptoms of listeriosis include, fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea.
by RTT Staff Writer
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