Rizo-López Foods cheese and dairy products recalled after deadly listeria outbreak

A California cheese and dairy company is recalling more than 60 products sold nationwide in a listeria outbreak that has killed two people and sickened dozens more, federal health officials said Tuesday,

New evidence links products made by Modesto, Calif.-based Rizo-López Foods to the outbreak first detected nearly a decade ago, in June of 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

At least 26 people in 11 states have been stricken in the outbreak, according to the CDC. One person died in California in 2017, and another fatality occurred in Texas in 2020, the agency stated. The CDC investigated the outbreak in 2017 and 2021, but did not have enough information to identify a specific brand. 

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration reopened an investigation last month after Hawaii officials detected listeria in a sample of Rizo Brothers Aged Cotija. That prompted a limited recall on January 11, which is now expanded. 

The recalled products now include cheese, yogurt and sour cream sold under the following brand names, Rizo-López said in a notice posted on Tuesday by the FDA (See list of recalled products here.)

  • 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

The recalled products were sold at more than 600 Walmart stores in 12 states: Alabama, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin. They also sold at 28 Sam’s Club locations in six states: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. 

 The products were also sold at deli counters at retailers including El Super, Cardenas Market, Northgate Gonzalez, Superior Groceries, El Rancho, Vallarta, Food City, La Michoacana, and Numero Uno Markets. 

Consumers are urged to discard the recalled products. Surfaces and containers that came in contact with the products should be sanitized, as listeria can survive in refrigerated environments and spread. Consumers with questions can call the company at (833) 296-2233. 

Listeria is most likely to affect pregnant people and newborns, people 65 and older, and those with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC. Infection symptoms typically start within two weeks of eating contaminated food and can include fever, muscle aches, nausea, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea. More serious cases may also include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.

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