The FDA announced yesterday a recall by Queseria Bendita of certain cheese products due to fears that the products are contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes. The potentially lethal bacteria has been found at the Queseria Bendita facility and in samples of unopened, recalled product.
Queseria Bendita is a small cheesemaking operation in Yakima, WA. They've been operating since 2000 and make primarily Queso Fresco, Requeson and sometimes Queso Panela, which they distribute to Hispanic specialty markets in Everett, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington and Hillsboro, Oregon. The company has recalled all these types of cheeses bearing a date code up to and including April 30, 2010.
Listeria monocytogenes is a type of bacteria that is found in water and soil. Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil, and animals can also be carriers. Listeria has been found in uncooked meats, uncooked vegetables, unpasteurized milk, foods made from unpasteurized milk, and processed foods. Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking. There is a chance that contamination may occur in ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats because contamination may occur after cooking and before packaging.