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Rizo-Lopez Foods Listeria Lawsuit in 2024 (Latest Updates)

Modesto, California-based Rizo Lopez Foods has issued a nationwide recall for multiple cheese products sold under many brand names at Costco, Walmart, and other retailers after they were linked to an outbreak of listeria food poisoning illnesses that has killed at least 2 people and hospitalized dozens of others.
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If you or a loved one developed symptoms of a listeria infection after eating recalled Rizo-Lopez foods, you should contact our law firm immediately. We are actively investigating Rizo-Lopez Foods Lawsuits in all 50 states. Please click the button below for a Free Consultation or call us toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600 if you were the victim of food poisoning.

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Update: Additional Products Recalled for Listeria Contamination

Since the initial recall on Feb. 5, the action has expanded to include additional products made with the recalled yogurt, sour cream, and cheese, such as dressings, sandwiches, and salad kits. Click here to view the brands and products that have been recalled since the first recall [1].

Which Products Were Recalled?

According to an FDA Recall Notice [2] dated February 5, 2024, this action affects cheese, yogurt, and sour cream sold under the brand names Tio Francisco, Don Francisco, Rizo Bros, Rio Grande, Food City, El Huache, La Ordena, San Carlos, Campesino, Santa Maria, Dos Ranchitos, Casa Cardenas, and 365 Whole Foods Market. Click here [3] to view a complete list of Rizo-Lopez Foods that are affected by this recall.

Rizo-López Foods, Inc. (“RLF”) is voluntarily recalling its dairy products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. the FDA said.

The recalled Rizo-Lopez Foods were distributed nationwide and sold at Costco, Walmart, El Super, Cardenas Market, Northgate Gonzalez, Superior Groceries, El Rancho, Vallarta, Food City, La Michoacana, and Numero Uno Markets.

CDC Investigation into Listeria Outbreak Linked to Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collected multiple types of data to investigate this multi-state outbreak of listeria infections [4].

The agency previously investigated the outbreak in 2017 and 2021, and epidemiologic evidence in those investigations identified queso fresco and other similar cheeses as a potential source of the illnesses; however, there was not enough information to identify a specific brand. CDC re-opened the inquiry in January 2024 after new illnesses were reported in December 2023 and the outbreak strain was found in cheese sourced from Rizo-López Foods.

As of February 6, 2024, a total of 26 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from 11 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 15, 2014, to December 10, 2023. Of 26 people with information available, 23 have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported, one from California and one from Texas. The CDC said.

The actual count of people affected by the outbreak is likely greater than the reported figure, and the outbreak might extend beyond the states currently reporting illnesses, the CDC said. This is due to some individuals recovering without seeking medical attention and not undergoing Listeria testing.

The following table has information about sick people in this outbreak (“n” is the number of people with information available for each demographic).

Demographics Information
Table of demographic information (n is the number of people with information available)
Age
(n=26)
Range from <1 to 88 years
Median age of 52
Sex
(n=26)
58% female
42% male
Race
(n=21)
71% White
5% Native American or Alaska Native
24% reported another race category
Ethnicity
(n=26)
85% Hispanic
15% non-Hispanic

State and local health authorities are conducting interviews to gather information about the foods consumed by individuals in the month leading up to their illness. Among the 22 individuals interviewed, 16 (73%) reported consuming queso fresco, cotija, or similar cheeses.

Among those who recalled specific brands, three individuals who fell ill between 2014 and 2022 mentioned consuming Don Francisco brand queso fresco or cotija. Don Francisco is among the brands of cheeses that have been recalled.

Trader Joe’s, Costco Products Recalled Over Listeria Fears: KREM 2 News Video

FDA Recommendation

If you purchased any Rizo-Lopez Foods that are affected by this recall, you should not eat them, and either discard them immediately or return them to the point of purchase for a refund.

Consumers should check their refrigerators and freezers for any of the products listed below and dispose of them. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-833-296-2233, which will be monitored 24 hours a day. The FDA said

Listeria Infection Statistics

Listeriosis, while uncommon compared to other foodborne illnesses, is a grave concern due to its severity, according to the FDA’s 2023 notice [5]. Despite the availability of effective antibiotic treatments, the disease carries a high mortality rate of 20 to 30%.

Over 90% of individuals diagnosed with listeriosis require hospitalization, often necessitating intensive care. In the United States alone, it is estimated by the CDC that approximately 1,600 cases of listeriosis occur annually, resulting in about 260 deaths. This means that roughly 94% of those affected require hospitalization, illustrating the serious nature of this infection.

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Have you or a loved one suffered food poisoning from consuming contaminated food or beverages?

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The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of jury trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Rizo-Lopez Foods Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new listeria food poisoning cases in all 50 states.

Again, if you or a loved one developed symptoms of a listeria infection after eating recalled Rizo-Lopez foods, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a Rizo-Lopez Foods Lawsuit and our lawyers can help.

References:

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/12/health/cheese-yogurt-dairy-recall-list-wellness/index.html
  2. https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/rizo-lopez-foods-inc-voluntarily-recalls-dairy-products-because-possible-health-risk
  3. https://www.fda.gov/media/176015/download?attachment
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/cheese-02-24/details.html
  5. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/get-facts-about-listeria#statistics

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