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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Recall -- Firm Press Release

 

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

 

Rio Grande Food Products, Inc. Recalls Cheese Because of Possible Health Risk

 

Contact:
Rio Grande Food Products, Inc.
(301) 937 6063

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Beltsville, MD -- May 20, 2004 -- Rio Grande Food Products, Inc. of Beltsville, Maryland is recalling Queso Duro Viejo / Hard Cheese, Made in Central America, because it has the possibility of being contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes-fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, (which may be bloody) nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and produce more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The cheese products were distributed in MD, VA, District of Columbia, NC, GA, NY, NJ, TX, CA, MN and AL, and were repacked for distribution nationwide to retail stores and deli counters.

The cheese was sold in blocks ranging from 40 to 85 pounds under the brand RIO GRANDE with the UPC 7 3852907012 3. The cheese was also repackaged in one pound consumer packages and wrapped in plastic stretch film under the brands:

RIO GRANDE-QUESO DURO VIEJO / HARD CHEESE with UPC 738529070128,
QUESO DURO VIEJO / AGED HARD CHEESE, Dist. By La Ricura Ltda, with UPC 769087000678
EMANUEL DISTRIBUTORS, PRODUCT OF EL SALVADOR.
ALL PACKAGES ARE BEING RECALLED. THE PRODUCT MAY HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT AN IDENTIFYING CODE.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the FDA at the ports of entrance, which revealed that the cheese contained Salmonella. Rio Grande Foods has requested its suppliers to investigate the cause of the contamination.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-981-4991.

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