Dangerous Bacterial Outbreak in 11 States Including Texas, Linked to Mexican Cheese
AUSTIN, Texas (KPEL News) - Two people in Texas are said to have a dangerous and potentially deadly bacterial infection that has been seen in nearly a dozen states, the CDC said. And the culprit may be some of the party foods you were planning on having for Super Bowl Sunday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a listeria outbreak has been seen across 11 states, including Texas.
"This outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses, and the true number of sick people is likely higher than the number reported," the CDC's site says. "This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria."
What Is Listeria?
Listeria is a type of bacteria, specifically Listeria monocytogenes, that can cause a foodborne illness known as listeriosis. This bacterium is commonly found in soil, water, and certain animals, and it can contaminate a variety of foods, including raw vegetables, dairy products, and deli meats. Unlike many other bacteria, Listeria can survive and even multiply at refrigeration temperatures.
When a person is infected with Listeria, symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, the infection can lead to complications such as meningitis, septicemia, or infection of other organs. Pregnant women, newborns, elderly individuals, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to severe outcomes.
Listeriosis during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or life-threatening infections in newborns. In non-pregnant individuals, severe cases can lead to neurological symptoms, such as headaches, confusion, and convulsions.
Preventing Listeria infection involves practicing proper food safety measures, including thorough cooking of meats, washing raw vegetables, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products, and promptly refrigerating perishable foods. If someone experiences symptoms suggestive of listeriosis, especially those in high-risk groups, seeking medical attention promptly is crucial for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
What's Causing the Outbreak?
The simple answer is dairy products (like cojita cheese). More specifically, it appears to be cheese, yogurt, and crema made by the company Rizo-López Foods.
The company has issued a recall of all of its foods that may be tainted. The foods are primarily forms of cheese, including cojita, queso fresco, and oaxaca. Other creams and yogurts made by the company are also on the list.
Also according to the CDC, there are a lot of products made with potentially tainted dairy products, including:
• Chicken Street Taco Express Meal Kit, sold by Don Pancho
• Cilantro Lime Crema Twin Pack,sold by Don Pancho
• Everything Sauce Fiesta 3 Pack,sold by Don Pancho
• Caesar Dressing,sold by HEB
• Cotija Dressing, sold by HEB
• Black Bean 6 Layer Dip, sold by Rojo's
• Chicken Enchiladas Verde, sold by Trader Joe's
• Cilantro Dressing, sold by Trader Joe's
• Cilantro Salad Dressing, sold by Trader Joe's
• Elote Chopped Salad Kit, sold by Trader Joe's
• Southwest Salad, sold by Trader Joe's
• Southwest Chopped Salad Kit, sold by Marketside
• Bacon Ranch Crunch Salad Kit, sold by Marketside
• Fresh Mex Salad Kit, sold by Ready Pac Bistro
• Queso Crunch Salad Kit, sold by Ready Pac Bistro
• Southwest Chipotle Crunch Salad Kit, sold by BrightFarms
• Chicken Chili Verde Burrito, sold by Amazon Kitchen
• Salsa! Ensalada Salad Kit, sold by Fresh Express
What States Have Been Impacted?
Along with Texas, we're seeing the outbreak hit Florida, Georgia, California, Arizona, and other states.
According to the CDC, to prevent infection, you need to follow these steps:
1. Do not eat any recalled products: Throw them away or return them to where you bought them.
2. Clean the refrigerator, containers, and surfaces that may have touched the recalled products. Listeria can survive in the refrigerator and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.
3. Call a healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms after eating recalled products:
Pregnant people usually have fever, muscle aches, and tiredness.
People who are not pregnant usually have fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. They may also get a headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures.
Amazing Super Bowl Snacks
Gallery Credit: Big Billy