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Warning in New York for Staph in Fresh Cheese

Long Island consumers have been warned not to eat a certain Queso Fresco “Fresh Cheese” because it may be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.

Quesos CentroAmericano Corp. of Freeport, NY, (formerly of Ronkonkoma, NY) recalled the fresh cheese after a routine sample, taken June 7 by an inspector from the state Agriculture Department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services, was found to be contaminated with high levels of Staphylococcus aureus. The manufacturer was notified of the positive test result on June 13 and voluntarily recalled the product.

The recalled fresh Spanish-style cheese is sold in 5-pound foil tray packages. The package label identifies the plant number 36-9845 and the product lot code 05/31/11. The cheese was distributed to stores, delis and restaurants on Long Island.


To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the cheese.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled lot of Quesos CentroAmericano Corp. Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese should return it to the place of purchase or discard.

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that usually causes rapid food poisoning symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, retching, abdominal cramping and prostration. In more severe cases, headache, muscle cramping and transient changes in blood pressure and pulse may occur.  Recovery generally takes two days.  All people are susceptible. Death is very rare, however such cases have occurred among the elderly, infants and severely debilitated persons.

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