Roos Foods has recalled 16 varieties of cheese after some of its brands were linked to food poisoning cases including one death in California. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the cheeses said to be contaminated with listeria bacteria were produced by Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware, and are linked to a listeria outbreak. The recalled products include the company’s Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima, Suyapa, La Chapina and La Purisima Crema Nica brands.

Officials say there was one death linked to the listeria outbreak in California and seven illnesses in Maryland. Five of the illnesses, including two mother-newborn pairs and a newborn, were related to pregnancy. Also seven of the eight patients were hospitalized and all illnesses were reported between Aug. 1 and Nov. 27. The products were distributed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A full list of brand names and varieties can be found on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

The Dangers of Listeriosis

Listeria is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it is easily passed on to the fetus. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle pain, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. People can develop listeriosis up to two months after eating the contaminated food, but symptoms usually start within days. In extreme cases, listeriosis can result in death or stillbirths in the case of pregnant women.

What Can You Do?

Listeria can grow in cheese that is stored at room as well as refrigerator temperatures. Listeria can also be spread to other food by cross-contamination. If you used any of the recalled Roos food products recently, please take the following steps:

• If you still have these cheeses at home, dispose them in a closed plastic back placed in a sealed trash can.
• Wash the cheese drawer and other areas where the cheese was stored in the refrigerator with hot water and soap. The area may also be sanitized with one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water.
• Wash cutting boards, surfaces and utensils that were used to cut, serve or store the cheese. Use the dishwasher if possible. Otherwise use hot water and soap. Wash your hands with soap and warm water as well.

If you developed a fever after eating Roos cheese, seek medical care right away. Report your illness to the local health agency. Contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled food poisoning cases and can help protect your rights.