The El Abuelito queso fresco Listeria outbreak now includes 11 illnesses and 1 death, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The company has issued a recall for queso fresco, Quesillo, and Requeson cheeses sold under a variety of brand names. Consumers who have purchased these cheeses should not eat them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted product distribution information.


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The queso fresco recall includes products sold under the brand names El Abuelito, Rio Grande, and Rio Lindo; the Quesillo and Requeson recall includes products sold under the brand names El Abuelito, Viejito, El Paisano, El Sabrosito, La Cima, Quesos Finos, San Carlos, and Ideal brands.

Listeria lawyer - Queso Fresco and Tortillas

Symptoms of a Listeria Infection

Symptoms of a Listeria infection usually develop within two weeks of exposure but can take more than two months to develop. They include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, other muscle stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of balance, and convulsions. If you ate any of the products recalled by El Abuelito and are experiencing these symptoms, please see a doctor right away.

Queso Fresco Listeria Outbreak Investigation

Since the CDC’s last update on February 26, one more illness (in Virginia) has been reported and a fatality in Maryland has occurred. The illnesses have been reported from four states. The case count from each state is: Connecticut (1), Maryland (4), New York (4), and Virginia (2).

The people sickened reported that the onset of symptoms on dates ranging from October 20, 2020, to February 14, 2021. They range in age from less than one year old to 75 years old. Ten of them are Hispanic.

Health officials have interviewed eight of the people sickened and asked which foods they ate in the month before they became ill.  Seven of them said they ate Hispanic-style fresh, soft cheeses. Six said they ate queso fresco, two specifically reported El Abuelito brand and one reported Rio Grande brand.

Experienced Listeria Lawyers

The Pritzker Hageman Listeria lawyers have an unequaled record of success in representing people harmed by listeriosis and other foodborne pathogens. Our firm has represented clients in every major  Listeria outbreak and has obtained numerous million and multi-million-dollar recoveries including:

  • $6.4 million for neurologic injury from a contaminated deli product
  • $4.5 million for permanent brain damage from contaminated food
  • $3 million for a pregnant woman who lost her unborn twins after eating contaminated food
  • $1 million for illness from contaminated deli meat

If you or a family member are part of this outbreak and would like a free consultation with our experienced team of Listeria lawyers, please contact us today by calling 888-377-8900 (toll-free), texting 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below.

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