PATERSON, NJ - El Abuelito Cheese Inc, a Paterson New Jersey company has removed all El Abuelito brand Cheese products from shelves due to confirmed laboratory findings of a listeria monocytogenes outbreak, announced the FDA.

According to the FDA, there have been 10 illnesses and nine hospitalizations related to this outbreak. Cases have been reported in Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Virginia.  The product has been distributed in Connecticut, Massachusettes, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected product samples of El Abuelito-brand Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses from a store where a sick person bought cheeses, the FDA stated. The FDA and CDC are now investigating a multi-state outbreak of Listeria Monocytogenes.  

At this time, El Abuelito Cheese, Inc. has ceased production and distribution of all products processed or handled in the same facility as the Queso Fresco.

The FDA is recommending that in addition to the recalled queso fresco cheeses, consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any El Abuelito-brand Quesillo (Oaxaca, string cheese) or Requeson (Ricotta) cheeses. This does not include El Abuelito Meat, Inc., Panela cheese, cotija cheese, mole, crema centroamericana, and crema mexicana.

A list of retail stores that may have received the effected cheeses can be found here. The FDA has stated that this list may not 'include all retailers but represents the best information currently available to the FDA."