1 Death Linked to Listeria Outbreak from Soft Cheese

1 Death Linked to Listeria Outbreak from Soft CheeseJanuary 19, 2015 — The Yakima Herald reports that an outbreak of listeriosis has killed at least one person who ate soft cheese from a local cheesemaker.

The product came from Queseria Bendita, a Yakima-based cheesemaker that had the same problem four years ago. The company has stopped making cheese and recalled queso fresco, panela, and requeson cheeses.

Three cases of food poisoning have been linked to the products. The death occurred in Pierce County. The other illnesses were reported in Yakima and King counties.

The last time Queseria Bendita had a listeria outbreak was in early 2010. Again, the company recalled three types of cheese. At least five cases of listeriosis were linked to the recall.

This is not the first time a manufacturer of Hispanic-style cheeses. Last year, a Delaware-based cheesemaker named Roos Foods was responsible for an outbreak of listeriosis that infected 8 people in California and Maryland. Seven of the eight ill people were hospitalized and one person died in California.

Listeriosis

Listeriosis is a serious type of food poisoning caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria commonly found in soil. Symptoms of infection include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.

The most serious complications include invasive bloodstream infections and meningitis (inflammation in the brain or spinal cord). In pregnant women, infection can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or infection of a newborn.

The most vulnerable populations include older adults, young children, and people with weakened immune systems.

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