CDC warns of LISTERIA outbreak in DAIRY products
02/12/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned the public of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection linked to dairy products sold nationwide.

According to the public health body, the latest outbreak is connected to dairy products manufactured by Modesto, California-based Rizo Lopez Foods (RLF). It added that the food-borne infection has largely been spread by contaminated cheese, sour cream and yogurt made by the company. The contaminated dairy products had been sold in a number of supermarket chains, including Whole Foods and Food City.

Two deaths related to the L. monocytogenes outbreak have been reported as per the Daily Mail, one in Texas and one in California. A total of 26 Americans have been stricken with the virus, with another 23 hospitalized in 11 states.

The youngest patient stricken with listeriosis from the contaminated products was aged one, while the oldest was 88 years old. About 58 percent of those infected with the food-borne pathogen were female, while 42 percent were male.

In light of the outbreak, RLF said it would voluntarily recall "61 products including cheese, yogurt and sour cream … sold under 13 brand names." The Mail added that the items of concern were sold between June 2014 to December 2023. (Related: CDC: Listeria outbreak linked to deli meat and cheese kills 1, infects 16.)

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, tiredness, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and seizures. The CDC exhorted people to discard any affected products, clean their refrigerators and surfaces at home and call a health care provider immediately if any symptoms emerge.

According to the Mail, "the CDC estimates that 1,600 Americans become infected with [L. monocytogenes] every year, and about 260 die. Most people who eat food contaminated with [the pathogen] will not fall seriously ill. But in some cases, it can cause confusion and seizures, miscarriage in pregnant women, and even death."

RLF under scrutiny over Listeria outbreak

Breitbart News reported that the specific brand most listed for having caused infection was the Don Francisco marque. The CDC itself also attested to this finding, pointing out in a Feb. 6 report that "among people who remembered specific brands, three people who got sick between 2014 and 2022 reported Don Francisco – one of the brands of recalled cheeses."

According to the public health agency, a probe of the outbreak was conducted in 2017 and 2021. "Epidemiologic evidence in previous investigations identified queso fresco and other similar cheeses as a potential source of the outbreak, but there was not enough information to identify a specific brand," it added.

The investigation was later reopened in January of this year after new illnesses were reported in December 2023, and the pathogen responsible for the outbreak was found in a cheese sample from RLF. In line with this, the Food and Drug Administration "conducted inspections at the RLF facility and collected food and environmental samples for testing." The regulator reportedly found the pathogen on a container where cheeses are kept before they are packaged.

RLF meanwhile announced the voluntary recall of the contaminated products in a statement. The aforementioned products include those with the following brands:

  • Tio Francisco
  • Don Francisco
  • Rizo Bros.
  • Rio Grande
  • Food City
  • El Huache
  • La Ordena
  • San Carlos
  • Campesino
  • Santa Maria
  • Dos Ranchitos
  • Casa Cardenas
  • 365 Whole Foods Market

"Based on information shared by the CDC and FDA, RLF may be a potential source of illness in an ongoing nationwide L. monocytogenes outbreak," the company said. "The recalled products were distributed nationwide by RLF and through distributors. Consumers should check their refrigerators and freezers for any of the products listed below and dispose of them."

Head over to for more stories about listeriosis outbreaks linked to contaminated food items.

Watch this news report about certain fruits being recalled over L. monocytogenes contamination.

This video is from the Daily Videos channel on

More related stories:

Listeria OUTBREAK linked to milkshakes sold at Frugals Tacoma causes three deaths, six hospitalizations.

Several lots of frozen corn and mixed vegetable products voluntarily recalled for possible listeria contamination

Food safety watchdogs issue warning over contaminated cheese; Brit dies amid listeria outbreak.

FDA recalls green organic kiwifruit from 14 states due to potential LISTERIA contamination.

CDC issues food safety alert over recalled fruits linked to LISTERIA outbreak.

Sources include:

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