FDA says ricotta and string cheese added to Listeria outbreak recall

The cheese recall announced earlier this month has expanded to include additional types of cheese, according to El Abuelito Cheese. Multiple brands are covered by this recall, which now includes Quesillo and Requeson products in addition to queso fresco soft cheeses. The reason for the recall is a Listeria outbreak that has caused cases in four states.

Earlier this month, the CDC reported that a Listeria outbreak had been identified in four states, and though a source wasn't known at the time, interviews with patients indicated that Hispanic-style cheese was likely the cause. Days later, El Abuelito Cheese announced a recall involving queso fresco cheese products.

In an update on February 27, the company expanded the recall to include Requeson and Quesillo, which are ricotta and string cheese products, respectively. The recall covers all of the company's queso fresco cheese with sell-by dates through March 28, 2021; all Quesillo products with sell-by dates through April 16, 2021; and all Requeson products with sell-by dates through March 14, 2021.

The products were sold under many different brand names, which vary based on state. The recalled cheeses were distributed to retail stores, wholesalers, and supermarkets through February 16. The recall notes that some retailers may have repackaged the recalled cheese, meaning the repackaged containers may lack the product info and original labeling used to identify the recalled products.

As of Saturday, the CDC says that 10 people have been infected with Listeria as part of this outbreak. The resulting illness can be potentially fatal in vulnerable groups, including young kids and the elderly. As well, Listeria infections may cause stillbirths and miscarriages in pregnant women.

The full list of recalled cheeses, including identifying information, can be found in the recall notice on the FDA's website.