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FDA NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2009

Media Inquiries:
Michael Herndon, 301-796-4673
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA


FDA Warns Consumers About Potentially Contaminated Cheese

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese Mexican style soft cheese (two specific lots) or any Queso Cotija Molido Mexican style grated cheese manufactured and distributed by Peregrina Cheese Corp. of New York City. These products could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in pregnant women, young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Consumers who may have recently consumed these products and have these symptoms should contact their health care providers.

No illnesses are known to be associated with the products at this time. The company is recalling certain products based on sampling and analysis by the FDA that detected Listeria monocytogenesin some of the samples.

The company is recalling two lots of its Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese Mexican style soft cheese and one lot of its Queso Cotija Molido Mexican style grated cheese.

The Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese comes in a 14-ounce foil wrapped packages marked with lot number 4469 or 4477 affixed to each package on a white sticker and bearing UPC number 8 17424 00024 6 and Plant # 36-8431.

The Queso Cotija Molido Cheese comes in 15-ounce clear plastic bags that are marked with UPC number 8 17424 00027 7 and Plant # 36-1388, but do not contain a lot number or production date.

Both products were distributed to retail stores in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Manhattan, and two towns in Pennsylvania (Scranton and Hazelton) in early February. The company has contacted all its customers and instructed them to destroy all affected products in their inventory.

Consumers who purchased any of the products are urged to discard them immediately. Although the FDA detected Listeria monocytogenesin only one production date of Peregrina Cheese Corporation's Queso Cotija Molido Cheese, the agency is urging consumers to discard all of these products because they do not contain a lot code or production day code to allow consumers to distinguish between a product that is of concern and a product that is not of concern.

Please direct questions regarding this recall to Peregrina Cheese Corporation at (718) 456-2391, Monday - Friday from 9 am – 4:30 pm EST.

For more information on FDA recalls, visit: http://twitter.com/fdarecalls.

 

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