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USA 09.02.2024

Major Retailers, Including Costco and Walmart, Recall Dairy Products Amid Listeria Outbreak

Source: The DairyNews
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In response to an FDA announcement linking a listeria outbreak to various dairy products, major retailers such as Costco, Trader Joe's, and Walmart have initiated recalls.
Major Retailers, Including Costco and Walmart, Recall Dairy Products Amid Listeria Outbreak
The outbreak, tied to California-based food supplier Rizo-Lopez Foods, has resulted in over 20 hospitalizations and two deaths.

Key Details:

The FDA identified almost 60 dairy products, including queso fresco and cotija cheese, sold by retailers like Costco, Trader Joe's, and Walmart, as part of the listeria outbreak associated with Rizo-Lopez Foods.

The outbreak is described as a "multi-year, multistate" occurrence, with the same listeria strain found in cases dating back to 2014. This marks the first identification of a specific brand as the source, after previous investigations in 2017 and 2021 failed to pinpoint a particular brand.

Trader Joe's, Costco, and Walmart have issued recalls for affected products, with full refunds offered to customers. The recalled items were sold under various brand names, including Rizo Bros, 365 Whole Foods Market, and Rio Grande, with sell-by dates through July 1.

The outbreak has resulted in 26 reported cases, 23 hospitalizations, and two deaths, one in Texas and one in California. However, the actual number of cases may be higher, as some individuals recover without medical care or testing for listeria.

The FDA is actively investigating the outbreak, and Rizo-Lopez Foods has temporarily halted production and distribution of the implicated products until the investigation concludes.


Listeriosis is an infection caused by listeria bacteria, commonly found in various foods. High-risk items include soft cheese, meat spreads, sprouts, unpasteurized milk, melons, cold-smoked fish, deli meats, and salads. Vulnerable populations, such as adults over 65, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant individuals, newborns, and fetuses, are at the highest risk. Listeria infection symptoms include fever, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle ache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and seizures.

Note: The FDA reports approximately 1,600 cases of listeriosis in the U.S. annually, resulting in around 250 deaths. Pregnant individuals are generally more mildly affected, but it can lead to fetal loss and newborn death in some cases. The hospitalization rate for listeria infection is reported to be 94%.
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