Outbreaks & Recalls

More recalls linked to the Rizo Lopez Dairy Outbreak, 26 Illnesses and 2 Deaths So Far

The source of a decades long Listeria monocytogenes outbreak was finally identified. However, that recall has expanded to include more recalls linked to the Rizo Lopez dairy outbreak.

In an update posted on February 22, 2024, more companies have joined the list.

Why?

These products contain potentially contaminated dairy products, include potentially contaminated dairy products to make new products, or have repackaged these potentially contaminated dairy products under another brand name.

The Outbreak

So far there have been 26 illnesses linked to the Rizo Lopez dairy outbreak. There have been 23 reported hospitalizations and two deaths linked to this outbreak to date. Cases have been identified in 11 states so far, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

The dairy products in question were distributed nationwide and to Canada. The list has since expanded as more recalls linked to the Rizo Lopez dairy outbreak have been identified.

The Recalls

Quite a few companies use Rizo Lopez cheese and other dairy products to make their own products. There are 19 more recalls linked to the Rizo Lopez Dairy Outbreak so far.

When something goes wrong in a company that large, it creates significant exposure opportunities.

More Recalls Linked to the Rizo Lopez Dairy Outbreak

Rizo Lopez has recalled all lots and best by dates of their dairy products. Additionally, the following products add more recalls linked to the Rizo Lopez dairy outbreak recall list.

  • Bristol Farms recalled their Chicken Street Taco Kit on 2/14/2024.
  • MG Foods recalled their Ham & Cotija Torta Sandwich on Telera Roll on 2/13/24.
  • Sprouts Farmers Market recalled their Chicken Street Taco Kit on 2/12/24.
  • Rico Brand recalled their Rico Enchiladas on 2/12/24.
  • Braga Fresh recalled their Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Chopped Salad Kit on 2/9/24.
  • Taylor Fresh Foods recalled their Marketside brand Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Salad Kit on 2/9/24.
  • Fresh and Ready Foods recalled their Fresh and Ready, Sprig and Sprout, jack and Olive Torta sandwiches on 2/9/24.
  • Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. recalled their Salad kits, with brands featuring Dole, Marketside, and President’s Choice on 2/9/24.
  • The Save Mart Companies recalled their SaveMart Chicken Street Taco Kit on 2/9/24.
  • Stater Bros. Markets recalled their Stater Bros Chicken Street Taco Kit on 2/9/24.
  • Costco Recalled their Maverick Foods Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowl on 2/9/24.
  • Ready Pac Foods, Inc recalled their Marketside and Ready Pac Bistro Southwest Chopped Salad kit, Bacon Ranch Crunch kit, Fresh Mex Chopped Kit, and Queso Crunch Salad Kit on 2/8/2024.
  • Bright Farms, Inc. recalled their Bright Farms Southwest Chipotle Crunch Kit salad kit on 2/8/24.
  • Fresh Express recalled their Fresh Express/marketside Fresh Express Ensalada Kit and Marketside Southwest Chopped Salad Kit on 2/8/24.
  • Albertsons Companies recalled their Albertsons, Safeway, Eagle, Carrs-Safeway, Pavillions, Vons, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, and Lucky brand Chicken Taco Kits and Meals on 2/8/24.
  • Trader Joe’s Company recalled their Trader Joe’s brand Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Cilantro Salad Dressing, Elote Chopped Salad Kit, and Southwest Salad on 2/7/24.
  • Simply Fresh LLC recalled their Rojo’s brand Black Bean 6 Layer Dip on 2/7/24.
  • Fresh Creative Foods recalled their Don Pancho, HEB, and Trader Joe’s brand Cilantro Lime Crema, Everything Sauce Fiesta, Cilantro Cotija dressing, Poblano Caesare dressing, Cilantro Dressing, and Street Taco Express Meal Kits on 2/7/24.
  • Costco recalled their Southwest Wrap and Chicken Street Taco kit at select stores on 2/7/24.

The full list of up to date recalled products can be found on the updated FDA page, 2024 Recalls of Food Products Associated with Dairy Products from Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. due to the Potential Risk of Listeria monocytogenes.

Why is this Such a Big Deal?

Why has this recall exploded to so many products, and why is this such a big deal?

To begin with, the outbreak includes a significant number of cases and two people have died in connection to Rizo Lopez dairy products. This was mostly due to cases across multiple states not being connected.

It wasn’t until routine sampling activities of the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Food and Drug Branch identified the harmful bacteria in a sample of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija in January 2024 that things began to line up.

With the genetic data from this food source contamination uploaded into the database, matches began popping up to cases dating back to 2014. Considering the scope of the outbreak, many other cases were likely unreported.

What started as a single product recall from a single company quickly led to additional testing of products packaged using the same facility. This prompted a massive recall from multiple companies either because they use the recalled product to make their own products or because their product was packaged on the same line as recalled product.

Listeriosis, the illness associated with Listeria monocytogenes infection, can be serious. Even deadly. This bacterium also poses a unique risk to those who are pregnant. It is a big deal!

What is Listeria?

Listeria monocytogenes is a harmful bacterium often associated with foodborne illness. While dairy products are what is often seen in the headlines, leafy greens, cold cuts, and fruit have also been seen in the news with Listeria outbreaks.

Listeria bacteria causes a typical diarrheal illness. It sometimes presents with mild symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, nausea, tiredness, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can develop into a more invasive illness when it leaves the digestive system and enters other parts of the body. In these cases, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and/or convulsions may be experienced.

Those who are pregnant often experience milder symptoms of invasive illness. Usually flu-like symptoms. However, the pregnancy becomes at risk. Miscarriage, premature delivery, still birth, and life-threatening infection of the newborn have been associated with Listeria infections.

Have You Become Sick After Eating Rizo Lopez Dairy Products or More Recalls Linked to the Rizo Lopez Dairy Outbreak?

If you have fallen sick from eating dairy products from Rizo Lopez or more recalls linked to the Rizo Lopez dairy outbreak, you may have a legal case.

The Lange Law Firm, PLLC has helped many families with cases just like yours help hold accountable those responsible for foodborne illness. When a company becomes negligent, people become sick.

If you have become sick after eating Rizo Lopez dairy products or other recalled products associated with this outbreak, you should get advice. An experienced Listeria lawyer can help navigate you through the legal process.

Call (833) 330-3663 or submit your information on the online submission form for a free consultation.

By: Heather Van Tassell (contributing writer, non-lawyer)

Heather Van Tassell

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