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For Immediate Release: July 13, 2012
Media Inquiries: Pat El-Hinnawy, 301-796-4763, patricia.el-hinnawy@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
En Español

FDA warns consumers about Listeria threat in Mexicali Cheese Corp. products

Risk of illness based on contamination at New York production facility
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to purchase or consume any products from the Mexicali Cheese Corp. of Woodhaven, N.Y., after the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes was found in the company’s finished product.
The affected Mexicali Cheese products were distributed in the New York City area, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The FDA is asking retailers to remove any Mexicali cheese products from their shelves. The FDA warns that consumers may have moved the products beyond those states.
Listeria contamination can result in listeriosis, a disease that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. However, in rare cases, persons without these risk factors also can be affected. Although healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which issued warnings on June 29 and July 2, 2012, said the product is packaged in a rigid 14 oz. plastic tub that displays the plant number 36-0128 and a code of 071512. The following product names are on the package containers:
  • Mexicali Queso Fresco Mexicano, Mexican Style Fresh Cheese
  • Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese
  • Mi Quesito Mexicano, Mexican Cheese; and
  • Quesillo Ecuatoriano, Ecuadorian Style Cheese
Individuals who have eaten these products and experience any of the symptoms of listeriosis listed above should contact their health care professional. Consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.
Under a May 1, 2012, consent decree of permanent injunction, Mexicali Cheese was required by a court order 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. They did not comply with these requirements. 
For more information:
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
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