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Queso Fresco Cheese Linked to Listeria Outbreak

It is easily agreed upon that the food we eat should be safe for consumption. When we purchase food from the store, we should never have to fear that it will cause us serious illness or death. It is not only something we should be able to trust, but it is also the law to provide safe-to-eat foods to consumers.

According to an article by Food Safety News, there has been an ongoing outbreak of listeria infections linked to Latin-style soft cheese produced by Queseria Bendita. Since mid-January there have been three cases of listeria. Two people required hospitalization, and there was one death. As of now, the firm has stopped producing cheese. The cheeses at issue are Queso Fresco, Panela, and Requeson. Any consumers who have this cheese at home in their refrigerators are ordered to throw it out and not eat it. Grocery stores have been directed to pull the product off the shelves and not sell it.

This is not the first time this firm has had to make a recall for listeria. According to the same article, Queseria Bendita recalled these same three cheeses five years ago for listeria contamination. This instance also caused several cases of illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeria is a serious infection caused by consuming food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease most often affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. People who are diagnosed with listeria have an invasive infection, which means it moves beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Listeria often causes fever and muscle aches, and when the infection spreads it can cause pregnancy complications (including fetal loss), headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Listeria can also present itself in the forms of septicemia and meningitis. The risk of listeria is best reduced by safe food preparation, consumption, and storage.

In fact, safe food preparation and storage coincides with a food producer’s duty of care under product liability law. Under the law, it is the duty of producers of food to supply safe and danger-free foods by inspecting the products for contamination and dangers, properly producing and handling the product to keep it safe for consumption, warning of known dangers, and removing dangerous foods from the market. Where consumers suffer injury or illness as a result of a dangerous product that should have been known by the producer, the consumer can hold the producer liable through a product liability lawsuit for their foodborne illnesses and injuries.

Our lawyers understand the severity of food poisoning and have represented clients who have suffered serious or life changing injuries as a result of foodborne illness. In one such case we recovered $4 million for three convention attendees who contracted salmonella and suffered crippling arthritic injuries as a result. If you have suffered injury and illness from a food you purchased at a grocer or restaurant, we empathize with your suffering and believe in your right to hold the party responsible for your ailment accountable under the law. Call us for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your potential case with you.