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Queso Fresco Recalled by WA Cheese Maker

Washington State’s Del Bueno recalled packages of all sizes of its Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese late Tuesday.

Del Bueno, based in Grandview, is the third Evergreen State cheese maker to recall product for Listeria contamination since February.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has linked at least one Listeria illness to the recalled cheese.  Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese was distributed to retail markets in Washington and one market in Hermiston, Oregon.

The cheese is packaged in round clear plastic packages, and is marked on the back with a code date; all codes up to and including May 30, 2010 are being recalled.

Washington State officials found the contaminated cheese during routine sampling, and then linked it to the illness.

Del Bueno notified its customers and pulled the bad cheese from store shelves.  It is now working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the recall.

Two other Washington cheese makers have also recently recalled their products for Listeria contamination.  It started when the Estrella Family Creamery recalled its Red Darla on Feb. 13.

On Feb. 21, Yakima, WA-based Queseria Bendita recalled three of its cheeses for Listeria contamination.  Estrella then expanded its recall to include several other cheese varieties on March 9.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.  Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Consumers who have purchased Del Bueno brand Queso Fresco are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 425-503-3823 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Pacific time.

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